West Fairchild, a South Campus residential college, goes by many names: ISRC, International Studies Residential College, West Fairchild, Best Fairchild (if you ask a spirited ISRC resident), Worst Fairchild (if you ask a resident of its rival dorm, CRC/East Fairchild) and “What’s that?” (if you ask anyone who lives on North Campus, and probably a large percentage of South Campus residents too). This college of many names has a polarizing reputation. Its naysayers say it’s a crappy, old building (built in the 1980s) with extremely tiny rooms and an anti-social atmosphere. On the other hand, many of its residents love the community, the way rooms are built around the four lounges on each floor (and each lounge has country-themed decorations) and the abundant free food. Electronic Wildcard locks were installed on all rooms and main doors earlier this year. In addition, the wood-laminate floors and new bedroom and communal furniture installed two years ago are still in great shape. It may not be the dorm for hardcore partiers or aspiring frat stars, but if you’re looking for a small, quiet South Campus dorm close with a gigantic pineapple mascot, it may be the place for you.
“It’s on South Campus, so it’s really close to Evanston and all the restaurants and everything. The sociability isn’t quite what I expected, because we have some things where we get together as a dorm, but I hear other dorms have a more social atmosphere than ISRC. The rooms aren’t as big as other dorms, but you can still make the most of your space.”
Tim Hess, Weinberg freshman
“This is my first year, so I don’t really have any comparison to go off of, but I think it’s been fine. I think ISRC has a bad reputation of being anti-social, but I think it’s really all that you make it. Munchies is really nice – every Wednesday we buy like $120 worth of food. ”
Helen Bao, Communication freshman
“Social-wise, it’s a mix of people who want to live here and don’t want to live here, so it’s an interesting mix. I’d say there’s definitely people who are on different floors that are around a lot, so you can definitely find people to talk to, but it’s not like a Bobb or an Elder where people are always around or hanging out.”
Marissa Uri, SESP freshman
“The bedrooms are definitely pretty small, I’m sure, compared to newly renovated places. Social-bubble wise, it’s definitely what you make of it. I personally enjoy the suite style, and the suites are definitely really nice, but there are definitely people who are never here and always like somewhere else.”
Yi Qiao, McCormick freshman
Reporting by Rachel Oh, Justin Curto, Trevor Lystad, Meg Pisarczyk, Robert Bell, Claire Toomey, Alena Prcela, Mia Zanzucchi, Victoria Alfred-Levow, Kate Salvidio, Elly Rivera, Rachel Epstein, Jakob Lazzaro, Yoonjie Park, David Gleisner
Photos by Rachel Oh, Justin Curto, Emma Kumer, Meg Pisarczyk, Virginia Nowakowski, Claire Toomey, Alena Prcela, Victoria Alfred-Levow, Kate Salvidio, Mia Zanzucchi, Elly Rivera, Rachel Epstein, Jakob Lazzaro, Brian Quistberg, Yoonjie Park, David Gleisner
Videos by Mia Zanzucchi, Emma Kumer, Meg Pisarczyk, Virginia Nowakowski, Helen Lee, David Gordon, Jesus Campos, Helen Lee, Elissa Gray, Gabrielle Bienasz, Andy Brown, Elizabeth Guthrie, David Gleisner, Poppy Shen
Editing by Libby Berry, Lila Reynolds, Maxine Whitely, Helen Lee, Virginia Nowakowski, Mia Zanzucchi, Jesus Campos, Isabella Jiao and Rachel Frazin
Design and development by Alex Duner, Tyler Fisher, Hilary Fung, Dan Hill, KK Rebecca Lai, Maxine Whitely, Sheng Wu and Katie Zhu
This project is open source. Check it out on GitHub.
Data provided by Northwestern University Residential Services