On the very edge of the campus, so far it can almost be considered off campus, are the Orchard Avenue apartments. The apartments are open to all students in their sophomore and upperclassmen years, or any transfer students. However, the apartments require a minimum of a 2.5 GPA to live in the hall.

Mason Moore | The Criterion

Orchard hall offers the basic amount of community life, including study lounges, computer labs, and free laundry, simply covering the bare essentials of providing places for students to go other than to their room. It is quite similar to the North Avenue apartments in the aspect of community interaction since the apartments are designed to offer a more accurate view of what life would be like living in an apartment outside of college. For this reason, the hall has some special features exclusive to the rooms.

Each apartment houses either three or six students depending on the model of room. In the three bed apartments, there are two bedrooms: a double and a single. These units also come with a full-size bathroom and a vanity sink.

The bigger six bed apartments provide two doubles and two singles; however, they also have two full-size bathrooms and two vanities to accommodate the extra residents.

That is where the differences end, for each room, regardless of size, both have the same accommodations, when excluding the bathrooms or number of beds. Each apartment comes equipped with a full-size kitchen: oven, microwave, stove, full-size refrigerator and dishwasher. On top of the kitchen area, there is a dining table, basically in the kitchen and a living room area that comes with a 42” LCD television.

The amount of space is the only difference between these last few features include in the Orchard apartments. The hall also offers a unique themed community for those that are willing to commit to that style of living. Orchard offers a special themed community for those that are participating in Health Sciences majors.

There are several advantages to living in the Orchard Apartments, the most notable being the full kitchen that every resident is provided with. This leaves a huge amount of opportunity for food other than choosing between the few choices in the cafeteria or making a special trip to one of the meal transfer locations; ramen and beans are easy and available with the use of the kitchen.

Then, there is always the seclusion from all of the pestering freshmen. There are also balconies, which happen to be fantastic and don’t need much explaining beyond that.

However, as with every story about some sort of good guy, there is a bad guy, and reflectively there are some negative parts to the good parts of the Orchard apartments. Being practically off-campus means that one must budget their time a lot better than those that live in Monument or Piñon. There is also the consideration of the absence of community in this apartment style living that is evident in the traditional style halls. While it isn’t necessary to be in the traditional dorm to form a community, it definitely makes it easier. So, if you are looking for a retreat from the freshmen and are interested in finding out what life outside of college is like, this is the dorm for you.

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