It seems that many of the dorms built now a days are suite style. This means that there are two or more rooms attached by a bathroom. I think this sounds like a fantastic concept, but I do not think it is the most successful way of building community. One of the reasons why I chose Wittenberg was because all of their dorms were community style. Community style means that there are roughly 15 rooms per hall and all of the residents share one or two bathrooms.
Now, I know that community style bathrooms are old fashioned, but I believe that they really do build a "community." I cannot begin to explain the good times I have had running into my friends in the bathroom that connects our halls. Whether it's because we brush our teeth at the same time, or because we are having a shower party (showering at the same time with fun music), or just saying good morning to the people you see every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. These small moments mean a lot to me.
Community style bathrooms won't be as clean as personal bathrooms, but that is because they are being shared by 20 or more girls. There won't always be a toilet or shower available, but that is why we learn how to share when we are in preschool. We don't get everything we want at the time we want it. But really, more times than not, I have been able to use the toilet and shower within two minutes of walking into the bathroom.
When dorms are built with suite style dorms, it is like living in an apartment. Personally, I think that twenty-somethings will be living in an apartment or something of the sort for a few years after graduation. So why force it when we are straight out of high school? Freshmen are hardly adults when they enter college, so why does adulthood need to be shoved in our faces? College is all about transitioning into the real world from the comfort of our parents' nest. We are meant to form a community and find our friends, not feel like we are in an apartment building where we casually nod to someone as we pass in the hall because we don't know their name.
Suite style bathrooms do work for some people and it is what they prefer, but as someone who shared two toilets and three showers with 50 girls, I still support community style. College is great so why not embrace it while we are here? Live in a dorm that pushes you to meet people, because you can't do college alone.