Students living on the UMass campus live in one of the five residential areas: Southwest, Central, Orchard Hill, Northeast and
Southwest is the largest residential area, and it houses two of the four campus dining commons. It is composed of five
identical 22-story towers (Kennedy, Coolidge, John Quincy Adams, John Adams and Washington) and many smaller buildings, holding
thousands of students between them. Southwest houses over 50% of the students living on campus. In 2003 the participation in a
few infamous riots was bolstered by students pulling fire alarms in some of the towers. Southwest has a reputation for being the
loudest and wildest residential area.
As the name suggests, Northeast is located on the opposite side of campus from Southwest. The residential area consists of
nine buildings assembled in a rectangle surrounding a grassy quad. With smaller buildings, Northeast tends to be one of the
quieter areas.Buildings of note in Northeast include Knowlton, an all female dorm, Hamlin, an all male dorm, and Lewis, a dorm which allows
students to live there for 9 months out of the year.Northeast's proximity to the engineering department have given it the reputation as being one of the more low-key residential
areas on campus, but also one where students under the stress of difficult studies enjoy letting off steam. For many years, on
one night each spring during finals week, an impromptu gathering of students takes place in the field between the halls - The
Quad. Once the students have been outside for a short time, loosely organized streaking takes place.
Sylvan is in the woods a short way up the road from Northeast. Rooms in Sylvan are arranged into 6 to 8-person suites. It is
considered one of the smallest areas on campus and relatively quiet.
Central is located up the hill on the east side of campus, and has nine residence halls. Student and local bands frequently
play in Central.
Orchard Hill is north of Central, and has four residence halls. Orchard Hill is known for its yearly spring event, Bowl
Weekend. Many students from the honors program have been known to reside in Orchard Hill.