Yale's on-campus housing system is organized around the concept of the "residential college." Modeled off of the housing systems of Oxford and Cambridge, the residential colleges provide housing, dining, intramural sports, social activities, and community for all Yalies. Most students agree that Yale’s residential college system provides students a place to live and learn that surpasses any other dorm experience. Each college is headed by a Master and a Dean. Freshmen are randomly assigned a residential college the summer before their first year and their college ultimately becomes their family at Yale. Each college is a microcosm of the University, creating the feel of a small college within a larger institution. An expansive renovation project has been in operation for the past 10 years. By 2012, all twelve colleges will have been newly renovated.
When asked to describe her on-campus housing experience, one student replied, "Well, who wouldn't want to live in a castle?" The residential colleges are each unique expressions of various architectural eras, such as the Gothic (Trumbull College), Georgian (Pierson and Branford Colleges), and Modern (Ezra Stiles and Morse Colleges) architectural periods.
Freshmen are housed on "Old Campus" during their first year at Yale in order to facilitate a "horizontal" connection before their move into the residential college, where they develop a more "vertical" social system. Old Campus often boasts many of the most exciting social events of the year, including A Cappella Tap Night, the festivities before Freshmen Screw, and the Spring Fling concert.
As always, rooming varies from situation to situation, but in the end, most students are happy with their on-campus housing. When you look around at your college courtyards, sometimes you can’t help but think: “I live here?!?”