The Concrete Hall

Higginson hall is one of the unique dorms on Western Washington University’s campus and is referred to by some as the “motel dorm”. There are many interesting and cool things about this residential hall but that one piece is probably its biggest feature, it is referred to by that name because every room opens out onto an exterior lattice of concrete paths.

Second floor “hallway”

Higginson is located on North Campus making it an ideal place as a student as it puts you within a mere couple of blocks from the VU, the VC, the WWU Bookstore and Red Square itself which is where many classes are housed. Higginson also has its own parking lot located just behind the building making it easy to move in and out at either ends of the year or to make a run into town or back home if it’s something you’d want. Of course for those without cars, there are also two bus stops right in front of the hall which will permit easy transit out of campus and then drop you off right back at your doorstep.

However, this year we have been so lucky as to have taken one more step to becoming closer with our sister dorm Edens Hall by forfeiting our front desk.

Front Desk on ground floor

Now our front desk is left unmanned except to deliver mail and package slips to our dorm and all the other services that would have normally be provided at our front desk are now located at Edens front desk. Which maybe is not so bad for those who like to get the extra steps in each day but it gets a bit over the top. Want trash bags for your room, go up to Edens. Want the gear to play billiards or foosball, go up to Edens. Got a package, Edens. But not everything takes place in the honors dorm, Edens Hall, as the hall council actually takes place in the Fishbowl lounge down on the first floor.

The exterior theme of Higginson, like all things, has benefits and costs. For many on campus if one wants fresh air they have to either let in small amounts by opening a window or remove themselves from the building entirely but here at Higginson one needs to only open their front door and step outside. Though sometimes at night the winds blow unfavorably and pour the fumes and odors of the various substances used around the Arboretum and with no walls to seal the walkways the cloud passes unhindered through the entire hall, however it never breaches the rooms. The wind is actually an interesting factor up here in Bellingham as so often there are just endless gales that besiege the area and in Higginson the open structure causes the wind to roar as it passes through the openings between each floor creating truly amazing sound effects as it does.

There is a strange, and rather shy, culture that Higginson maintains. While it is not true every time, many people will climb floor to floor looking for a lounge to either work or study in but will hesitate to enter if there is so much as one person occupying the lounge. Which can be rather strange as someone peeks their head against the glass door to see if anyone is inside, only to scurry away if they catch any hint of a current occupant.

Despite what would seem like a multitude of flaws over just a couple strengths, Higginson Hall is actually a great place to live. Even though individually people are often shy towards others, there are floor events or other social gatherings nearly every week, led by RAs who make it their goal to bring the community together. Its relatively quiet both day and night, unlike what is often said of some dorms on South Campus. And it really is not possible to beat being so close to the Bookstore in case you run short on supplies or just want to get home quickly after spending thirty minutes standing in line getting books for the new quarter. If you’re going to school to succeed, Higginson is a great place to do it.

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