Written by Dahlys Ang
\Alpha, Blackstone, Hart, Hope, Horton, Sigma, Stewart: the faces of Biola’s housing options. While together they compile what 65 percent of Biola’s undergraduate students call home, according to Best Colleges U.S. News Rankings, each dorm has a different personality and aura surrounding its walls. The differences in community life, campus location and overall atmosphere of each dorm are what makes the seven choices of residential life at Biola so unique.
The only all-girls dorm on campus, Alpha is located on upper campus in between Horton and Sigma. Built in 1966, Alpha was recently renovated and includes several unique amenities such as the rooftop sundeck as well as a study and prayer room.
“Alpha has a warm, occasionally sassy, and welcoming personality. I look forward to coming ‘home’ to my dorm and smiling and laughing with the girls on my floor,” freshman nursing major Jenna Shotwell said. Savannah Ozier, a fifth year Biola student majoring in Elementary Education, has lived in Alpha for four years and has seen the ways Alpha has continued to flourish.
“Each year the connection has grown stronger both as doormates and sisters in Christ. Alpha is strong, intelligent, and fierce which represent the women who live here,” she said.
Blackstone is the newest dorm on upper campus that features Green Building systems and is the only dorm on campus to have its own cafe.
Freshman business major Kate Gonzalez has had a positive experience living in Blackstone. “The personality is pretty fun/impulsive but laid back at the same time. You see people just hanging out at times but they also get pretty crazy. I also love how many hangout spots there are throughout the dorm, and would love to room in Blackstone again,” she said.
Junior nursing major Hyeri Jeon agreed. “Blackstone is very young and fresh because many of the new students live here,” Jeon said. “I previously lived in Alpha and the community in Blackstone is tighter in the way that people care for each other more. Next year I would rather dorm in Alpha just because of the prayer room and study room, but I do like Blackstone.”
Built in 1970, Hart is one of the three dorms on lower campus that houses both male and female students. Noah Love, a sophomore at Biola, has lived in Hart for the past year and enjoyed his time there.
“Hart is energetic, a little eccentric, a little rebellious, and deeply warm and kind,” Love said. “The smaller dorm makes knowing everyone around me a possibility and we are really encouraged to get to know each other which is fantastic.”
Freshman Owen Faudree lives on Haven, Hart’s lower level. “In Haven we have something called the open-door policy which says that unless you are sleeping or studying your door should be open for your fellow brothers to talk or hang out,” Faudree said. “This has allowed us to create lifelong friendships and breed brotherhood. Hart’s identity lies in commitment because Hart puts their all into everything they do.”
One of the newer dorms on campus, Hope can be found on lower campus in front of the large grass amphitheater.
“Community life in Hope is great. Someone is always playing games, pranks, or Ping-Pong in the lobby. It is very fun to know that people are welcoming and always down to do something super spontaneous and fun. It’s very energetic,” junior journalism Stacy Rasmussen said.
Joseph Otoshi, a freshman on the second floor of Hope called Broho (short for Brotherhood), also spoke positively of Hope’s community. “Sometimes I will be sitting alone doing homework or cleaning up in the restroom and so many times there will be someone who comes up and talks to me,” Otoshi said. “People at Hope are so friendly and try to include others which has been such a blessing for me to be in a welcoming community.”
Horton is the newest residence hall located next to Alpha on upper campus. Freshman cinema arts major Jae Hee Yun expressed her experience in Horton. “Horton is very energetic, vibrant, and gathered together,” freshman Jae Hee Yun said. “It’s a great big, supportive, loving community where I’ve had the opportunity to meet many diverse people. I would definitely dorm here again,” she said.
Sigma is one of the last dorms on upper campus that is unique in the suite style dorm rooms that residents enjoy. Freshman Sam Wagner identified Sigma as quiet.
“Community life at Sigma is not very vibrant or engaging because most people keep their doors closed all the time and generally do not socialize with other people on their floors,” Wagner said. “However, there is a good side to this since studying in my room is very doable given the general lack of noise.”
Similar to Sigma, Stewart also has suite style dorm rooms and is located on lower campus in between Hope and Hart. Junior Yukari Becker and RA of Dwell described her experience in the dorm and the community of Stewart.
“It’s a very tight-knit group of people. I think it is a very open and inviting place for everyone who dorms here. In one word, I would describe Stewart as quirky,” Becker said. “Because the living style has a different layout compared to other dorms, it creates a more intentional community and more of a choice to choose each other.”
Freshman Evan Lockett, also described how his experience dorming in Stewart has been so far. “The community aspect is pretty laid back for the most part and as a whole Stewart is super goofy,” Lockett said. “The big rooms are definitely another great aspect about the dorm rooms at Stewart,” he said.
This article was edited on January 22, 2020 at 9:03 p.m. with corrections to the year Alpha was built.