By Andre Boudreaux
Many college freshmen share a room for the first time, live in a space comparable to their closets at home and sleep in a bed that can be smaller than them. That has been the traditional dorm life for many students throughout the years.
However, for some students and student-athletes at the University of Louisville, living arrangements are a little different.
All freshman athletes live on campus at one of several different locations. Many athletes live in Bettie Johnson Hall, with Herman and Heddy Kurz Hall and Billy Minardi Hall being the other places you can find athletes resting and socializing.
These housing options offer unique opportunities to those who live there – opportunities that may not be seen in traditional dorms such as Unitas Tower and Miller Hall.
“Living in Bettie Johnson is really luxurious and there is so much to do,” said Erin Schneidtmiller, a forward on the field hockey team and a freshman communication major.
At Bettie Johnson, residents have their own bedrooms and share a kitchen and living room with one to three roommates. Although they may share their bathroom with another roommate, they do not have to walk down the hall to a community bathroom, like in traditional residence halls.
But luxury isn’t the only facet Bettie Johnson offers. The amenities foster a community environment and encourage residents to meet other residents. The courtyard has a swimming pool, sand volleyball court and charcoal grills, allowing residents to socialize in a friendly environment. Because it houses the majority of freshman athletes, there is a great deal of interaction between members of different teams.
“Living in Bettie Johnson allows you to meet a lot of new athletes in the school,” said Kelsey Garraty, a defender on the lacrosse team and a freshman undecided major.
For the athletes, living with other athletes encourages the different teams to support each other.
“You get up in the morning and see other people going to their sport and you automatically ask about their team,” said Schneidtmiller. “It gets you involved and makes you want to watch them play.”
While Bettie Johnson is home to most of the freshman athletes, it is not the only residence. The freshmen on the men’s tennis team live in Kurz Hall. It has similarities and differences from Bettie Johnson.
Kurz Hall offers suite-style living, as opposed to Bettie Johnson’s apartment-style rooms. Kurz Hall residents usually share a bedroom with a roommate. The two roommates then share a bathroom with two other residents. Kurz Hall has more non-athlete residents than Bettie Johnson, offering athletes the opportunities to interact with more students not involved in athletics.
“It is a lot different and I like the change of scenery,” said Brad Merchant, a member of the men’s tennis team and a freshman exercise science major.
All of Merchant’s suitemates are also his teammates on the tennis team.
While Kurz Hall may not have the swimming pool and volleyball court that Bettie Johnson offers, the residents appreciate sharing a bathroom with far fewer students than they would in traditional dorms.
Living on a college campus might be a far cry from a private bedroom at home, with Mom’s cooking always within reach, but there are places on campus that make the transition from home to college easier, more comfortable and more luxurious.