All Wheaton freshmen are required to live in dorms, and nearly 90 percent of the student body lives on campus all four years. While most college students would do anything to get off campus, housing at Wheaton is highly promoted and has profound effects on the social scene. Many upperclassmen claim that some of their best friends are those that lived on their floor freshman year, and some coeds on brother-sister floors end up in long-term relationships. Brother-sister floors are central to freshman and sophomore dorm life. At Wheaton, each dorm floor has a corresponding opposite-sex floor with which it shares community-building activities. Bro-sis meals, movie nights, and bowling excursions are common and well loved by students. Fischer is the only dorm containing individual bathrooms, shared by the four to five people within each suite. Fischer is also known to be the more social dorm—the lobby is consistently filled with people until the wee hours of the morning, and the Switzerlands (neutral lounges connecting boy and girl floors) are basically family living rooms. Smith-Traber, on the other hand, is arguably better for building floor camaraderie. Many students feel that the floor-shared bathrooms foster more friendships within the floors.
Upperclassmen have a good variety of housing options, including better dorms, three apartment complexes, and 13 houses. Each option has its own appeal depending on student preferences and needs. Housing assignments are done through random number lotteries, which can be frustrating when you just happen to get the last pick of rooms, but you really can’t go wrong with any of the dorms here. They’re all well maintained, clean, and spacious. If you choose to remain on campus for all four years, like most students, you won’t be disappointed.