Auburn News

100 Things We Love About Auburn: #2 Residence Halls


This week we’re continuing our 100 Things We Love About Auburn series with another staple of life as an Auburn student.


#2  Residence Halls

With the construction of the new South Donahue residence area underway, it seems fitting to honor the transformation of Auburn on-campus housing. The second thing we love about Auburn is dorm life. From the tiny rooms of the Quad and the Hill to the apartment-like living in The Village to the luxurious accommodations of the new South Donahue dorms, each campus-housing cluster boasts its own personality.

Housing options have come a long way from the housing provided to Auburn students in the past, with their jail cell-sized rooms–and that’s not an exaggeration! Built in 1948, “Mag dorm” contained rooms so small that state attorneys used it as an example in their defense of a civil suit involving prison inmates who contended that the miniscule size of their jail cells constituted cruel-and-unusual punishment. The state argued that if the rooms of Magnolia Hall—which actually were smaller than the cells in question—were deemed fit for public-university students, then it followed that the prisoners had no room to object to their own living quarters. Not surprisingly, Auburn students made light of situation, proudly wearing T-shirts depicting a convict wearing a ball-and-chain emblazoned with the phrase, “Mag. Not just a dorm, a way of life.” Mag dorm was demolished in 1987; its reincarnation opened in The Village residence complex on the west side of campus in 2008, but its memory lives on.

The residence hall on South Donahue that will be replacing the old Sewell dorm, housing both athletes and non-athletes, open in Au 2013. The new facilities make even The Village look shabby with primarily two bedroom, two bathroom suites that come equipped with a washer and dryer in each suite, wall-mounted 42” flat screen T.V. in the living room, queen sized beds, and quartz countertops. You can watch a video of the new building’s interior here.

Whether your dorm experience left you with lifelong friendships or just some crazy stories, there’s no denying that it’s a rite of passage. What on-campus housing did you live in when you were at Auburn? Was it more “prison” or “penthouse”? Tell us in the comment section!