For most of the early history of Auburn, boarding houses and barracks made up most of the student housing. Even into the
1970s, boarding houses were still available in the community. It wasn't until the great depression that Auburn began to construct the first buildings on campus that were "dorms" in the
modern sense of the word. As the university gradually shifted away from agricultural and military instruction to more of an
academic institution, more and more dorms began to replace the barracks and boarding houses.Auburn's first dorms were hardly luxurious. Magnolia Dormatory, built in the 1950's and demolished in 1987, was once used by the state of Alabama in its defense against a lawsuit brought by state prison inmates.
The inmates claimed that housing two men in a cell of particularly small dimensions constituted 'cruel and unusal punishment.'
The state argued in court that students at Auburn actually paid to live in even smaller living spaces--at Magnolia Dorm. The
inmates lost the case.One quirk of Auburn's student housing that for almost fifty years made it unique in the country was the high percentage of
Auburn students living in mobile homes located off campus. This trend began in the late 1940s as a result of massive housing
shortages due to returning soldiers taking advantage of the GI Bill. Trailers
provided an economical, readily available source of housing with the additional bonus of providing privacy not found in a
dormatory. Often a student would live in the same trailer that his or her siblings or other family relatives had lived in during
their years at Auburn.In the last twenty years, the city of Auburn has experienced a rapid growth in the number of apartment complexes constructed,
and the number of students living in trailers has rapidly declined. However, even today there are large trailer parks located off
Wire and Webster roads southwest of Auburn where many students live. Most Auburn students, however, live off-campus in the
tenement-like apartment complexes and condos that surround the immediate area
around the university. Less than 25 percent of Auburn students live on campus.Auburn's on-campus student housing consists of four complexes located at various locations over campus. The Quad is the oldest
of the four, dating to the great depression projects begun by the
Works Progress Administration and located
in Central Campus. Made up of 11 buildings, the Quad houses mostly undergraduates in coed, alternating-floor buildings. The Hill
is made up of 14 buildings and is located in South Campus, though it is traditionally referred to only as "The Hill." The Hill
houses mostly undergraduate women with the exception of the two high-rise dormatories (Boyd and Sasnett), which are coed on
alternating floors.The Village is located west of Campus and consists of 19 buildings of one- and two-bedroom apartments. This area was
originally designated as married student housing, ideal for students who were already starting small families during their final
years at Auburn. However, it now houses mostly undergraduates. The Extension is a block of six buildings, each comprised of
two-bedroom apartments housing undergraduates.
Male Greeks in Auburn are roughly divided into two separate areas: Old Row and New Row. "Old Row" traditionally was made up of
the fraternities whose houses were located along Magnolia Avenue on the north side of campus. "New Row" is made up of
fraternities whose houses were located along Lem Morrison Drive southwest of campus. However, being an "Old Row" or "New Row"
fraternity doesn't really depend on where the house is located but on the age of the fraternity. Ergo, there are some "Old Row"
fraternities with houses on "New Row" Lem Morrison Drive because they moved there. Today's "Old Row" on and around Magnolia
Avenue was once the "New Row," as the first generation of fraternity houses at Auburn were on or near College Street. Most of
these houses were demolished by the end of the 1970's, and only two fraternity houses remain on College today.Because of the stipulations of a grant to Auburn made in the early 1900s, female Greek sororities are not allowed to have
private houses. Instead, they are housed in the dorms located on the Hill. This had the unintended side effect of keeping dues
for these sororities among the lowest in the nation.Greek Life is important at Auburn, but is not as prevalent as at other institutions such as the University of Alabama. Roughly 18 percent of men and 34 percent
of women are in greek organizations at Auburn. Because of the low percentages, there is a marked lack of animosity between greeks