(Higgins “Million Dollar” Stairs between Lower and Middle Campus, via bc.edu)
The Chestnut Hill campus, known as Main Campus, sits on the massive slope of the Boston Marathon’s Mile 21, also known as “Heartbreak Hill.” Main Campus has three divisions based on altitude. On Upper Campus you’ll find freshman residences; Middle Campus houses the academic buildings, libraries and McElroy Commons, a bookstore-dining hall hybrid; and Lower Campus offers upperclassman housing, dining, Robsham Theater, access to Boston’s T system and the Conte Forum and Alumni Stadium sports venues. Across the street from Main Campus lies Brighton Campus, which undergrads rarely visit except for intramural or club sport practices on the deserted fields.
Newton Campus is a 10-minute ride from Main Campus on BC’s free shuttle service. It houses the remaining freshmen, soccer fields and the graduate law school. “It’s one freshman class, but it’s really two different experiences,” senior RA Sean Babar said. While Upper living is more convenient, Newton kids insist that the dreaded shuttle rush for 9 a.m. classes builds camaraderie.
While Newtonites have their own exclusive bus, everyone else can easily hop on the Comm Ave Bus. It provides routes from Main Campus to popular off-campus housing spots and to Cleveland Circle, which hosts a number of eateries, CVS, 7-11 and access to two different MBTA lines.
Where We Live
Freshmen get two options: Upper or Newton. Upper houses 60% of freshmen in a variety of different dorms in close proximity and offers a prime spot next to classes. It provides the true on-campus experience, which explains why most incoming freshmen pray for Upper. Newton kids, 40% of freshmen, defend Newton Campus to the death. Although it requires a bus ride to get to class, Newtonites say the community is stronger on Newton and that it provides more of a separation between home and class.
The majority of students live on Lower Campus. Juniors tend to live off-campus, typically nearby in the neighborhood of Brighton, or study abroad. Lower dorms provide a variety of different living situations: while Walsh solely houses sophomores in suites, Edmonds has a relatively even mix of ages in on-campus apartments with full kitchens. And although the newest dorm on campus, Stayer Hall, houses mostly seniors living in suites, some juniors are in the mix, too. Then there’s the Mods, the on-campus modular apartments. Since BC is frat-free, some claim Mod owners as wannabe frat boys (or sorority girls), especially since most on-campus partying goes down at the Mods.