If you are looking for a good freshman dorm at USC...Pardee tower could be that dorm for you...I lived there my freshman year so I can tell you a little about my experience.
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The location of this dorm is awesome. It's an on campus dorm with pretty good security. It's very centralized and close to most of the GE's classes, so if you are a late waker..no problem. The walk to most of your classes will be less than 5 minutes. Take it from my experience this dorm has the best location. The 24 hour Leavey library is just less than a minute away too.
The dorm is composed of 8 floors. It's a coed dorm so it alternates male/female by floor. Each floor has about 12 (around that number) rooms and it's two heads per room. The rooms are decent. There are desks, beds, and a little vanity section in each room. I thought the rooms were ok in size. Nothing fit for a king or queen but you know, that's dorm life. There is one study room per floor that can provide you with a place to study if your roommate is playing music or etc.
One or two coin operated washers and dryers per floor, I never did my laundry there though.
Every floor has a central bathroom with four shower stalls and plenty of toilets. I never had a problem with the bathroom. The bathrooms stay pretty clean throughout the weekdays since there is a cleaning service.
There is one RA per floor. I got along pretty well with my RA, they are usually pretty nice. I treated mine like an advisor and like a friend. They basically mind their own business, so having an RA is not really a big deal.
EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW is all I have to say! The all you can eat cafeteria for this dorm is not located in the building but is close by. It is located in a dorm called EVK and it's known as the "Evil Kitchen". I don't mean to scare you...but i'm just giving my honest opinion. I hated the dorm food there and I advise you to try it out before you choose your meal plan. You have to have a meal plan when you are living at Pardee tower, so if you don't like the food there, choose the small plan! Sunday breakfasts are awesome though, that's about it. You can make your own belgian waffles on sunday and those are good.
I felt that this dorm was safe. Your USC card gives you access in the building and up the elevators so not just anyone can get in. There weren't many problems when I lived there for a year. We left our door open most of the time too.
I had a good experience living here. My roommate was my high school friend and things turned out fine. I got to know a lot of people in my dorm and socialized a lot. Some of the girls on my floor connected really well with their roommates and became best friends.
Pardee tower provided a good freshman year experience for me. I basically woke up 15 minutes before I had to go to class because the location was so great. I still talk to many people that I met there and we have stayed good friends. The space for this dorm goes really quick so I urge you to register for your dorm early if you plan on living here.
I hope I have given you some good advice.
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