The ultimate Augustana debate: Berg or Solberg?


Rachel Johnston

Balance is everything. Finding equilibrium between studying, socializing and sleeping is essentially every college student’s goal. I am incredibly lucky to have a living space that makes it easier to achieve this balance.

Bergsaker Hall helps freshmen find this perfect blend of practicality and fun. In Berg, there is a clear sense of separate space in the rooms and a continuous sense of community in each hall. The atmosphere of Berg is all-around inviting.

Berg’s layout is ideal, beginning with the lobby. It is spacious and social– it’s common to find a group watching TV together or just chatting on the couches. The two staircases lead to Berg’s lobby; it’s in the center of everything, allowing it to become a social gathering spot.

Because of its layout, Berg’s lobby gives you a greater chance of running into people from both wings of the building, giving it a more communal vibe.

The rooms are far superior to Solberg’s as well. Upon walking through the door, you will discover two symmetrical sides, each with its own closet, desk and personal space. I find it efficient to have the room split down the middle. The clear separation is necessary to avoid excess clutter caused by both roommates’ schoolwork and personal belongings getting mixed together.

It also creates fewer distractions. You and your roommate can sit at your own desks, facing away from each other, making it possible to get studying done in the room. Speaking more generally, Berg’s rooms allow you and your roommate to have a little bit of personal space and some extra breathing room, which is limited in a dorm setting.

Additionally, despite the fact that Solberg’s rooms have larger dimensions, Berg’s rooms feel much more spacious because of the clear divide between the two sides.

The atmosphere of Berg’s halls is better than Solberg’s, too. While Solberg can easily be seen as dark and dingy, Berg’s recently redone walls look fresh, clean and inviting.

In addition to its physical appearance, Berg’s sense of community is evident in each wing.

For example, wings three and four west both contain rooms in which the doors are always open. Not only does this show that the rooms are home to social and friendly residents who are happy to say hello to anyone who walks by, it also symbolizes the openness that defines Berg.

It is a comforting  feeling knowing you have a dozen close friends only a few feet away, friends whose doors are always open. Literally.

Berg’s use of divided rooms and united halls therefore makes it far superior to Solberg.

I couldn’t be happier living in Berg– the building itself and the community it creates are perfect.



Sarah Kocher

Rock, paper, scissors will not settle it. You can’t flip a coin, and picking a number is strictly out. When it comes to siding with a freshman residence hall, the decision must be carefully made. The wonderful traits Solberg has makes it the better choice.

In all seriousness, Solberg houses numerous benefits that put it far ahead of Bergsaker in the ranks of the residence halls. Walk out the back door of Solberg, and there it is: your car, parked within one hundred feet of the building, conveniently located for anyone who needs a quick getaway.

While you spend time in the space where you live, it is important to have enough natural light. A number of studies correlate health with organic illumination. The larger windows in Solberg increase your exposure to natural light, allowing you (the best chance) to continue studying unaffected by a lack of sun.

When the sun rises in the east, closer to Berg, most students are in classes. By the time students arrive back at the dorm the sun is in the west portion of the sky, letting light pour into Solberg windows.

It is not just the windows that are bigger, either; it is the whole room. The dimensions of Bergsaker and the layout of the desks, dressers and closets allow for very limited bed placement in the rest of the room. The layout also separates each desk, dresser and closet from the other.

In Solberg, the desks, the dressers and the closet are connected The connected furniture fosters an awareness and respect of another person’s belongings and space. You are held more accountable for the cleanliness of your desk so that it doesn’t spill over and affect your roommate’s study space.

While to some this may seem like more hassle than it is worth, connected furniture allows for more furniture mobility and helps you strive to be clean and accountable.

Solberg holds you to a higher standard, causing you to be accountable to your neighbors as well.

In Bergsaker, the hallways are circular, with the bathroom in the middle and little offshoots every which way. Try finding the room of a friend if you know just the floor and not their room number. It’s downright discouraging.

In Solberg, each hallway is a straight shot down to the end and back. Not only does the area seem more spacious, welcoming and light, but it also allows students to form neighborly friendships in a community setting. You actually have a room across the hall from you, allowing a person to get to know their neighbors.

Don’t flip a coin. If you value a closer parking lot, bigger windows, bigger rooms and a friendly neighborhood, chances are you’ll pick Solberg. After all, it’s the heart and Sol of Augustana College.