Saturday, December 9, 2023

MSU Neighborhood Rundown: Dorming Survival Guide

July 21, 2023
Sophomore Mia Burghardt moves into her new dorm in Bailey Hall during Fall 2022 Move-In on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022 at Michigan State University. “Coming in for my second year, I’m less anxious and more excited,” she said.
Sophomore Mia Burghardt moves into her new dorm in Bailey Hall during Fall 2022 Move-In on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022 at Michigan State University. “Coming in for my second year, I’m less anxious and more excited,” she said. —
Photo by Chloe Trofatter | The State News

It’s that time of year again: move in. Whether it be moving into a dorm for the first time or off-campus to an apartment, it can be a stressful experience, especially on a large campus. 

With incoming freshman receiving their rooming assignment this past week, students who have never been on campus may feel nervous about walking into their first-ever dorm. 

Have no fear, veteran Spartys have advice to share on everything you need to know about MSU housing selection. Each neighborhood  has its own specialty and each person has their specific preferences. At the end of the day, it comes down to knowing what to expect.

Brody Neighborhood

Brody offers a vibrant freshmen community that everyone longs to be around when becoming a newcomer to the Spartan family. Offering a double-style room, the community is the most updated.  Kinesiology junior Ben Dedic lived in Brody the past two years in two dorm halls: Rather and Emmons Hall.

Ben gave notable advice for freshmen living there this upcoming year.

“Go out and befriend the people you live by, don’t be shy," Dedic said. "We are all meeting new people everyday, so you might as well start early.” 

He put emphasis on keeping an open mind and an open door, poking around Brody to introduce yourself to others. 

Dedic shared some pros and cons of his experience with Brody neighborhood:


  • "Great food"
  • "Big dorms"
  • "Good environment, if you’re into meeting lots of people"


  • "Location is iffy" 
  • "Communal bathrooms"
  • "With how big the neighborhood is, it gets very loud"

River Trail Neighborhood

Those who reside in River Trail have no choice but to be fans of the MSU alma mater; this neighborhood is quite literally along the banks of the Red Cedar river. Offering single, double, and quad-style rooming options, River Trail also has community kitchens. English junior Claire Donohoe elaborates on her main takeaways from her time living in East McDonel her freshman year and West McDonel her sophomore year.


  • “The area is really nice with dining halls in each direction, Sparty’s in most buildings, and the trail is really beautiful. I felt like nothing was too far of a walk away.”
  • “I felt very connected to campus and the off-campus area at the same time.”
  • “Perfect mixture of campus life and nature."
  • "I personally loved being so close to the Minskoff Pavilion because of the walk along the river.


  • “I can see how some people might feel like it’s too far East, but I was able to still feel connected to campus. You do have to work a bit to learn the bus systems and shortcuts.”

For freshmen, Donohoe had a few tips.

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“Dorm life is what you make it," Donohoe said. "Meet new people in your hall, try new dining halls, change up your study locations. The best way to make somewhere feel like home is to live there – really focus your energy on your surroundings and exploring. No matter where you live, you’ll have a great experience." 

North Neighborhood

North neighborhood is famous for the scenic views and architecture. It lies close to the heart of downtown East Lansing, along Grand River Avenue. It holds MSU’s vintage dorms and offers double style dorms with communal bathrooms. Some rooms are bigger than others, having inconsistent dimensions.  For any students who love aesthetics, North neighborhood might be the campus' capital for all things elegant to the eye. Human biology junior Dominic Vargas lived there in Williams Hall this past school year as a sophomore. 

Vargas had an honest point for freshmen who will live there this upcoming year.

“Do homework outside when it’s nice; North has the best outdoor scenery," Vargas said. 


  • “North is close to a lot of attractions both on and off campus like IM Circle, Spartan Stadium, Union, restaurants, and stores."


  • “The dorms are older and less modern.”

South Neighborhood

Close to everything sports related, South neighborhood is a favorite for Spartan superfans. The neighborhood is in close walking distance to the Munn Ice Arena, Breslin Center, Spartan Stadium and IM West. If you’re a MSU sports fan, this is your domain. South offers double style living with suite-style bathrooms. Business-preference sophomore Nico Spadoni lived in North Case Hall for his freshman year.


  • “Great dining hall and Sparty’s, right by majority of freshman level classes and athletic stuff is just a block or two away."
  • "A bunch of extracurriculars are located there.”


  • “Far from downtown. If there is a class in East, the walk and bus ride will take forever." 

Spadoni puts emphasis on being friendly with those around you, especially whoever you’re living with.

“Get along with, or even become friends with your roommate or suitemate pretty early on in the semester," Spadoni said.

East Neighborhood

East neighborhood has a unique vibe that compliments creative culture and the arts. It is a close distance to the Wharton Performing Arts Center. South features single, double, quad, and suite-style rooms. It’s a mixed bag fit for the living preferences of everyone. Finance sophomore Ben Spahn lived in West Akers Hall for his freshman year.

The main concern for Spahn was distance, making sure any potential students that will be living there knew this too.

“Bring a bike or get good at using the bus because you’ll probably have to go far for classes.” Ben said.


  • “The quad style dorms"


  • “Far from Grand River and sporting events." 

Though all dorms are a bit different from each other, any one of them is a great choice as long as students make the most of their time there. Be where your feet are, whether that be Brody, River Trail, North, South, or East. Soak it all in: you’re only a Spartan living in the dorms once in your life.


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