My son is in BARH and the heating is completely unregulated. Sometimes it goes full blast even when the temperature outside is 70 and sometimes it is completely off even when it dips down to 32 deg F. Can someone explain to me how can an institute full of engineers is unable to install something as simple as a thermostat for a residence hall?

This site is run by students, not Residence Life. I encourage you or your son to reach out to Residence Life about any complaints.

I’m an incoming freshman, and was wondering which freshmen hall is the best/most popular? Also wondering what the situation is with incoming athletes and rooming. I know some schools make you dorm with teammates

There are pros and cons to each freshman hall. If you talk to current students you will hear each of them say a different hall. If you want to see pros and cons for some of the halls check out the list on the official RPI Class of 20XX Facebook Group, you should be added to that soon. In regards to athletes and rooming, as far as we know you are not required to room with teammates, though highly recommend and most of the time athletic team members room together.


Can you you raise your own bed? What tools are needed?

Beds in the Freshman Five & BARH are adjustable. You just need to pop out the bar and place it in the selected height. A hammer is beneficial, but you don’t need it to adjust the bed. Risers are not recommended for the Freshman Five & BARH as the beds are heavy. You can also choose to loft the beds.

For beds in Nason and Davison, these are not adjustable. You should get risers to raise the bed or choose to loft it.

For Barton, the beds are already lofted and you do not have to do anything.

I am an athlete, and I like that BARH is close to ECAV. But, BARH is the farthest freshmen dorm from classes. How can I prevent arriving late to class if I live in BARH?

1. Leave on time to walk to class.

2. Use an alarm clock.

3. Really, this is a silly question… you need to be responsible for yourself in college. Make sure you’re up in time to get ready for your day, eat, and go to class. Whether you live in BARH or on Freshman Hill, you just need to figure out how long it takes you to get to class and leave with plenty of time.

What is the safety/security level like around and in the BARH residence halls? Because it is farther away from the other freshmen dorms, is it still within the RPI campus?

Yes, BARH is within the RPI campus. You can see this by looking at a map. You will be surrounded by the athletic facilities as well as quite close to a few fraternities, residential homes, and RPI’s apartment style housing options: RAHPs and STACwyck. It’s as safe as any other residence hall.

Then what would the major differences amongst the dorms be? How do people choose their preferences?

All of the freshman residence halls have some amount of lounge/kitchen space, but it does vary.

  • Quad – two double rooms share a suite bath. Rooms are irregularly shaped. VERY close to class. No long hallways – often quieter. Upperclassmen on the third floor. Close to Sage Dining Hall. A/C.
  • Freshman Five (Bray, Cary, Nason, Crockett, Hall) – all very similar. Kind of plain-Jane rooms. Long hallways, lots of social-ness. Part of some of these halls is devoted to: Wellness Housing (Bray), Vasudha Housing (Nason), Leadership Housing (Hall), Design and the Arts Housing (Cary). Close to Commons Dining Hall. Community/floor style bathrooms.
  • Barton – newest residence hall. A/C. Mostly triples. Close to Commons Dining Hall. Two triples share a suite bath in some cases. In other cases, there is a community/floor bathroom.
  • BARH – very close to ECAV/athletic facilities. Similar plain-Jane as Freshman Five. I believe two doubles share a suite bathroom. Has BARH dining hall within. Farthest from classes. Lots of lounge space.

What does a triple in BARH look like? It is one of the rooms on the outer sides so it looks bigger than the ones in the middle, but is it like one bunkbed and one single bed. Have people ever complained about being cramped? Also is there a cleaning service for the bathrooms?

What does a triple in BARH look like? I honestly don’t know, and they are quite rare. I’m confident that it would, in fact, be one set of bunked beds and one single bed. For a more certain answer, you can contact the Office of Residential Education.

Have people ever complained about being cramped? Ever…? in the history of BARH triples? It’s probably happened, yes… but you’re not living in a closet. You’ll make the space work – that’s part of what college is about.

Is there a cleaning service for the bathrooms? Yes. RPI has a department called Environmental and Site Services. Each building has at least one cleaning person assigned to it. This staff person will clean the bathrooms (usually once a week) and maintain the common living spaces, like hallways, lounges, kitchens, etc. You are still responsible for keeping things tidy and not making huge messes – it’s not a maid service. [Some people prefer to clean their own bathroom. If this is the case, you can just ask your cleaning person not to clean your bathroom, but you do need to do it. If you don’t, you can be fined.]

So I just recently got assigned a dorm that I was at first happy about but now I’m not as much. How easy is it to switch dorms completely (when you have a roommate and they will go with it too)? Say, from one freshman five to another freshman five? Or from BARH to a freshman five? I know you probably don’t know much about it but I thought you might have known someone that wanted to switch their dorms at some point.

It’s impossible to quantify the ease of room-switching. You and your roommate should call ResLife/ResEd ASAP to find out if you can switch before you move in. Otherwise, you have to wait 2 full weeks after classes start.

Regardless, you might not be allowed to switch halls “just because.” The staff goes through a lot of effort to place all of the students and allowing switches on a whim would be very time-consuming. Best of luck – call and ask as soon as you can.

Hello, I recently received my room assignment (BARH–room D310) and am wondering why the rooms on the bottom-left of the floor plans on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors have no toilet. Is there some mistake on the plans? If not, what bathroom is supposed to be used?

From my understanding, you are talking about your own room. The toilet was left out of the blueprint (which is not meant to be comprehensive). I’m am certain that you have a toilet. I marked it in green below. Bathrooms are all in red.


I want to live in a pretty social dorm that has non-communal bathrooms, (meaning at most 2 rooms per bathroom), not too far from classes, and mixed gender. Which is the best dorm for me?

All dorms are mixed gender.

The Quad is closest to classes. Hall, Cary, Barton, Bray, Crockett, and Nason follow closely in that order (they’re all within about 100 yards of one another). BARH would be the farthest.

Quad and Barton are the only ones for freshmen that have non-communal bathrooms.

So, it sounds like you want to live in Quad… but do some of your own research. I’m not a match-making service.

You said a lot of athletes live in BARH, does each dorm have its own sort of personality? I’m trying to decide which housing arrangement I want next year and I think knowing this would help me decide

I wouldn’t say each residence hall has its own personality, no. Student athletes are only slightly more likely to live in BARH. From year to year, the hobbies and interests of the residents of any given hall vary on a huge scale. It could be that, by chance, all of your neighbors will be into the same tv show and like the same bands or activities. In the same way, you could be a very diverse group of students but still get along. Even if a residence hall had a given personality (say they all like camping) this year, next year it could be entirely different.

Two things actually; Which housing option do you think is the best for freshmen? Dorms like Bray, Crockett, Cary, etc, or Barton, the Quadrangle or BARH? And how exactly does the whole laptop situation work? I know they offer a deal on a really good laptop, but what was your experience with that?

Calling any residence hall “the best” is an impossible choice to make. Depending on your lifestyle, you may prefer one hall over another. For starters, athletes tend to live in BARH, as it’s close to ECAV and the dining hall is open until 8:30pm. That being said, if you want to live in BARH and you’re not athletic, you can still fit in.

The Quad is often considered quieter because there are no hallways. This is where I live, and there is still plenty of social life. Also, BARH and the Quad hves upperclassmen living on the third floor; it can be nice to know older students. Quad is also really close to classes, especially compared to BARH. Quad residents typically eat at Sage.

Barton and the Freshmen Five are essentially equal in distance to ECAV, Commons, and the academic part of campus. Barton is just nicer and sometimes called “Hotel Barton.” These dorms overall are the most social because of their hallways and openness. Really though, everyone makes friends.

The laptop situation: RPI offers a Lenovo laptop for about $1800. The laptop comes ‘imaged’ with most of the software you need for classes and a four year service plan. This year, we got W500s. Some students complain about the quality of the laptop, but I’ve found them to be pretty high speed and the service plan is nice. Laptops with any problems can be taken to the Help Desk at the VCC and they will try to fix the problem or lend you a loaner laptop while they work on yours, if need be. If you don’t have the RPI laptop, the Help Desk can help you, but you won’t get full replacement parts and you have to chase down (and sometimes pay for) the software. You can find more information here: