The View from: Craige

Welcome to the Reslife blog, summer 2015 edition. If you’re an incoming first-year, you’ve recently received your housing assignment for the 2015-16 school year. While there is ample information about the residence halls on the official housing website, it doesn’t provide context and personality to the place you’ll be calling home next year! This series of posts will give a closer look, from a former resident’s perspective – there’s much more than meets the eye in every residence hall.

Craige - a six story residence hall which is the only building in the Craige Community.
Craige – a six story residence hall which is the only building in the Craige Community.

The first residence hall is Craige – where I lived my first year.

Statistics

6. Craige is a 6-floor high-rise residence hall located at 555 Paul Hardin Drive.

2. Craige is equipped with two elevators to reach each floor (6 staircases as well.)

636. It has four wings and houses approximately 636 students per year.

13. 13 RAs (residential advisors) live in Craige residence hall, spread throughout the six floors.

1. Craige is the only dorm in the Craige community, and has its own parking lot and address – 555 Paul Hardin Drive, Chapel Hill, NC, 27514. (Remember this when you order pizza from your room)

Post-Snow view from the fifth-floor basketball side.
This post-snow view from the fifth-floor basketball side is one of the best of the first-year dorms.

Style

Craige is set up in an “X-wing” shape – it has a central “lobby” area and then four wings extending north, south, east and west. On each floor, there is a common area in the center. Flyers and other relevant campus information in poster form decorate these walls. The exit comes in the form of two opposing doors – one to two balconies overlooking a basketball court, known as “basketball side”, and another to two balconies overlooking the sand volleyball court and parking lot, known as “volleyball side.”

History

Craige was originally built in 1962, the first of the South Campus high-rises. Its namesake is UNC alumnus Burton Craige, class of 1897. Mr. Craige graduated top of his class and lead an illustrious career as an attorney, member of the NC General Assembly, and business owner. Craige (the residence hall) has seen multiple improvements, and the most recent remodeling came in 2012.

Important: The hall’s name, Craige, is pronounced Craig as in Craigslist, rhyming with leg. Remember, it’s not pronounced C + rage, although “C-rage” is a nickname for the hall, along with “Las Craigas.”

Amenities/Resources to Take Advantage Of

Craige is known as the most social first-year residence hall, and most of this is due to the engagement of the students. The basketball and volleyball courts are good recreational spots, and the volleyball side is full of benches and spots to relax outside. The bench on the Craige bridge nearly always has a card game going as well, and it’s hard to find a place around Craige without people. Also, make sure to join the Craige Facebook page and the Craige listserv email. Using social media and keeping up with events will help with branching out.

Other places include the Carolina Room, which contains a pool table, a large TV, and a lounge area which is located next to the vending machines. There’s also the Craige “coffee house,” located on the ground floor, which is also a lounge area similar to the Carolina Room – with a ping pong table. Both places are excellent for watching sports with a large group of people; I watched the win over Duke in football in the Carolina Room.

Make sure to take advantage of the food as well. Craige’s events are scheduled by the community government (made up of residents) and in my case, that meant weekly events such as “Craigesedillas” and hot chocolate/ice cream sandwiches in the lobby. There’s no shortage of opportunities to get free stuff, or to meet new people and socialize.

Craige from the exterior - this entrance leads to the bridge.
Craige is known as the most social dorm, largely due to the engagement of the residents and the location.

Funniest moment

I have witnessed some truly memorable things in my one year at Craige, some hilarious, some outrageous, and some I doubt I will ever forget. One of the overall funniest moments, though, came in February with a group of four people walking down the Craige bridge, which was iced over due to snow. The first walker slipped, began to lose his balance, and grabbed his friend, causing them both to fall and creating a chain reaction as the other two slipped over their fallen friends like dominoes. As they all lay on the ground arguing about whose fault it was, another person walked by and managed to trip over one of the people on the ground, adding another to the pile. Few things can top watching five people eat it trying to walk into Craige.

Closest Bus Stops

Craige is across the road from the Public Safety bus stop, and this is the main one students use. Other stops include the two on Bowles Drive, by Hinton James and the Smith Center, as well as the stop outside of Ehringhaus on Ridge Road.

Comparison with other first-year halls

    – Of the first-year halls, Craige is the closest to the Dean Smith Center and the Kenan-Flagler Business School.
    – It is the only one which has a bridge on the exterior.
    – Craige is said to have the fastest elevators in any first-year residence hall.
    – Of the first-year residence halls, Craige and Ehringhaus (both built in 1962) are the oldest.

Remember to have fun, and that all of your 635 neighbors are sharing your incoming nervousness and will be receptive to meeting new people. Craige is where you’ll sleep, shower, and spend time, so make it your home. I suggest that you get to know¬†your suitemates and neighbors well, and talk to your fellow residents – you’ll be glad that you did.

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