Making your way around Dartmouth: The map to essential locations on campus

by Cristian Cano | 8/14/17 12:30am

This article was featured in the 2017 Freshman Issue.

Foco: Short for “food court.” This building’s full name is the Class of 1953 Commons, but no one really calls it that, not even the actual members of the Class of 1953 (probably). Whatever you call it, you’ll be spending a lot of time here this fall thanks to your mandatory new student meal plan: the SmartChoice20. Foco is Dartmouth’s only all-you-can-eat dining hall, and you can get inside using one of your meal swipes or for a set amount of DBA (the equivalent of dining dollars). There are three main eating areas inside: “light side” (the room on the left), “dark side” (the room on the right) and upstairs. You might hear that “dark side” is where the athletes sit and “light side” is for NARPs (non-athletic regular people), but this isn’t the lunch room from Mean Girls. You CAN sit with us — or anywhere else!

Collis Center: Doubles as both a student center and a café. There are several spaces in Collis worth checking out: 8 Ball Hall, a pool hall, Collis Commonground, a study area by day and a multi-purpose social area by night, Collis Market, a place to buy things like overpriced toothpaste when the walk to CVS is too far and One Wheelock, a hybrid coffee shop that serves free coffee and tea and hosts live performances on the weekend. Collis also has a café with fantastic pasta and stir-fry stations for dinner, though the main attraction is definitely Collis Late Night. It’s almost always a good idea to stop by — it’s open until 2:00 am on the weekends — for some last minute mozzarella sticks and chicken tenders before calling it a night.

The Hop: Short for “The Hopkins Center for the Performing Arts.” The Hop is home to both of Dartmouth’s performing arts departments and is where both student and professional performances are held. In the basement of the Hop, there are practice rooms that anyone can use to fine-tune their shower singing or kazoo playing. Inside the Hop, you can also find the Courtyard Café, Dartmouth’s very own diner-style dining location, though everyone just calls it “the Hop.” (Yes, “the Hop” is inside the Hop.) There, you can wait in a (usually long) line to order all sorts of burgers, quesadillas and other fried foods­. The Hop is also home to the Hinman Mail Center where you can wait in a (again, usually long) line to pick up packages.

Baker-Berry: Dartmouth’s main library. Baker is the part of the library you first walk into, and Berry is the newer addition that begins when you walk past KAF. However you prefer to study, whether that’s with friends or in total isolation, there’s a spot somewhere in the library where you can thrive. I recommend you find that spot sooner rather than later, because you’ll likely be there for many hours each week. If you’re a social studier, FFB (First-Floor Berry) is probably where you’ll end up. Need peace and quiet for all your serious academic pursuits? Berry’s four floors get quieter the farther you go (4FB is #academicrigor). Fun fact: in the Jones Media Center on the second floor of Berry, there’s a video game room that you can reserve! They have a decent of collection of games to check out from the front desk for your much-needed study breaks.

Novack: The café in the back of the library, known for having a wide variety of sandwiches and wraps. Novack food is quick and easy — sometimes hit or miss, but when you have an exam in an hour, you’ll take whatever you can get without wasting time. If you’re studying late and craving a pepperoni Hot Pocket or Odwalla smoothie, Novack is your best friend.

KAF: An acronym for King Arthur Flour, a bakery and café conveniently stationed in the heart of campus: Baker-Berry. KAF is regarded by many as having the best sandwiches, coffees and pastries on campus. Unfortunately, they are also the most expensive sandwiches, coffees and pastries on campus, and KAF is the only café on campus that doesn’t accept meal swipes. Whenever you hear about someone whose DBA is negative $300, you can bet KAF is to blame. But, if you’re willing to wait in the massive lines and pay the high prices, you won’t be disappointed.

The Stacks: Deep within the interior of Baker-Berry, there exists a place where few venture … and even fewer return. Legend has it that the Stacks are a collection of labyrinth-like rooms where thousands of books lay dormant, ready to be checked out if they can only be located. Some brave students willingly choose to study here to avoid distractions, knowing that even a sneeze or hiccup will echo throughout this silent space. There have even been tales of students hiding in the Stacks to study all night long, inhabiting a corner in Annex B long after the library has officially closed. It goes up six floors and down into the basement for two more. Explore at your own risk.

LSC: The LSC, short for the Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center, is farther away than most other academic buildings, but if you’re a biology major or on the pre-health track, you’ll get used to the walk pretty quickly. The LSC has, in my opinion, one of the most visually pleasing interiors on campus: lots of natural light, as well as some really cool artwork and sculptures. The LSC is also LEED Platinum certified — the highest rating from the U.S. Green Building Council that a building can receive for sustainability and energy efficiency. A hidden gem on the 4th floor of the LSC is the greenhouse, which is open to the public and which makes for a nice, warm study spot when the weather gets colder.

The River: Objectively the farthest freshman dorm from everything (except Tuck School of Business and Thayer School of Engineering). They even say that the zip code for the cluster of dorms is in Vermont. Subjectively the best freshmen dorm on campus, according to some.

The Choates: A freshman dorm cluster, most identifiable by its hamster tunnel connections between buildings. The buildings themselves aren’t always everyone’s favorite, but they’re located on prime real estate. You’re close to both the library and frat row, so it’s a little easier for you to reach that golden balance of studying and going out.

The Fayweathers: An all-freshmen housing cluster. North Fayweather, Mid Fayweather and South Fayweather are all part of one big building, and you can walk through the basement to get from one to the other without going outside. Compared to the other freshmen dorms, the Fayes have a great location right by the Green and Dartmouth Hall. If you live here, be sure to have some empathy when your friends in other dorms complain about how long they have to walk to get anywhere.

Alumni Gym: The building where the Zimmerman Fitness Center is located. Believe it or not, we have the biggest recreational fitness center in the Ivy League! How often you use the gym is a personal choice, but if your dorm is far enough away, then the walk to and from the gym might all the exercise you need. No need to even go inside!

The Green: When the Green is actually green, it’s a place of lighthearted celebration and relaxation, and you’ll often find both students and Hanover locals playing and getting their daily dose of Vitamin D. In the summer and fall, there is a weekly farmer’s market! When the Green isn’t green, it should generally be avoided. Unless you’re building a snowman or having a snowball fight (which are, admittedly, a ton of fun), you don’t want to deal with wading through the mud and slush.

McLaughlin: Home to most of the Living-Learning Communities. The McLaughlin buildings are some of the newest on campus, complete with elevators and air conditioning, and the spacious rooms are envied by many on campus. Living-Learning Communities aren’t for everyone, but if you hear about one you like, apply and you might be able to live in the luxurious “Hotel McLaughlin.”

East Wheelock: One of Dartmouth’s housing clusters. A good portion of freshmen are assigned here, though upperclassmen live here too. East Wheelock residents receive two main benefits: a snack bar and proximity to the gym. Food and exercise basically cancel each other out, right?

Robo: Short for Robinson Hall. Several important offices are located here, including the Student Wellness Center, The Dartmouth (us!) and the Dartmouth Outing Club. It is also privy to a whole lot of dancing at the beginning and end of First-Year Trips.

Dick’s House: Dartmouth’s on-campus infirmary. Dick’s House offers a variety of medical services, including mental health services like counseling, and it also houses a pharmacy. Hopefully you never have to spend a night at Dick’s House, but if you ever start to feel sick and cough drops aren’t enough, this is where you should go.

Dartmouth Hall: One of the most well-recognized symbols of Dartmouth. Dartmouth Hall would be the oldest building on campus … if it hadn’t burned down twice over the past couple of centuries. If you choose to study any of the Romance languages on campus, you’ll be spending plenty of time here. Enjoy the beautiful architecture while you can — once your 7:00 a.m. drill starts, you might not be so enamored.

Webster Ave: Dartmouth’s beloved frat row. Most, but not all, fraternities can be found along this street, as well as several sororities. College President Phil Hanlon’s house is also at the end of this street, fittingly enough. I guess even he can’t resist the allure of the Greek scene? (Though you all will have to resist it, at least until the freshmen fall “frat ban” is over.)