When you’re trying to learn what all the different terms we use are before you move on campus, it’s easy to be confused. I want to help clear that up for you.
For starters, Heritage Commons is the part of campus where most of our on-campus housing is located. If you go on the drop-down menu bar on our website, open the drop-down menu for “Housing Options,” and click on “Upper Campus Housing Map,” you’ll see a map of Heritage Commons. When you’re exploring campus, it’s the part that’s east of Legacy Bridge (the big white suspension bridge above Mario Capecchi Drive). Hopefully that’s clear enough now! Ok, now for the different parts of Heritage Commons.
Let’s start with Chapel Glen. Chapel Glen (We usually call it Chapel) is made up of three white, chapel-ish looking buildings. To get there, if you’re walking up from Legacy Bridge, you’ll keep going directly east away from the bridge, and Chapel Glen will be on your left after you’ve crossed Fort Douglas Boulevard. Chapel Glen is housing for first-year students only. It has some awesome amenities, like the 24 hour gym in building 803.
Next, let’s talk about Officers Circle. On your way to Chapel, you might’ve noticed a bunch of old houses in a half circle. That’s Officers Circle! I lived there last year and I LOVED it. There are 10 houses in the circle, and most of them have a theme. They have tons of shared community areas, like kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms, and study rooms upstairs. Officers Circle is usually referred to as OC for short, and undergraduate students of all ages can live in the houses. These houses were built in 1875 to house the officers who worked at Fort Douglas. House communities are brought together by events like Officers Hollow, which is when each community chooses a different theme to decorate their house for Halloween, and then families and students are welcome to visit the houses and participate in activities and crafts.
Peterson Heritage Center
After OC, we have to talk about the Peterson Heritage Center (we call it the PHC). If you keep walking past Chapel Glen in the half circle that goes behind the OC houses, you’ll get to a shuttle stop. Climb up those stairs, cross the plaza, and there’s the PHC! The PHC is a super important part of living on campus. The front desk is where you can ask questions, get mail and packages, check out a temporary replacement key, and so much more. You can check our Desk & Mail Services page to learn more about what the front desk can do for you. Across from the front desk is the Crimson Corner. It’s a little convenience shop where you can get easy microwave meals, coffee, snacks, and more. They accept flex dollars, which are a part of your meal plan, so you’ll probably spend quite a bit of money there. If you go up the short flight of stairs between the Crimson Corner and the front desk, you’ll come to the RHA Office. RHA is the Residence Hall Association; it’s basically a student government that only serves students who live on campus. You can always go to their office to hang out, play their Nintendo Switch, eat snacks, and more! RHA puts on a few events every semester that are totally free for students living on campus. If you go up the longer flight of stairs near the RHA Office, you’ll get to the PHC cafeteria. This is where you’ll spend most of your meal swipes that come with your meal plan. It’s an all-you-care-to-eat buffet! You can stay for as long as you like and eat as much as you like. There’s pizza, salad, sandwiches, ice cream, noodles, vegan options, burgers, sushi, and more! Unfortunately, the PHC has limited services to offer at the moment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but hopefully more services will be available during fall semester.
As you were crossing the plaza to get to the PHC, you walked past the two buildings that make up Gateway Heights. So if you go out the front doors of the PHC and see the identical buildings that are on either side of the plaza, you’ll be looking at Gateway Heights. We call it Gateway for short. Gateway is unique because it’s the only housing on campus that’s separated by gender. If you’ve just walked out of the PHC, the building on the left is the females building, and the building on the right is the males building. All other housing on campus is co-ed. Co-ed means that people won’t share a bedroom with somebody with a different gender than they have, but they might have neighbors down the hall or across the hall from them that are a different gender. Gateway has excellent community areas like shared kitchenettes and lounge areas, and only first-year students can live in the buildings.
Now it’s time to go behind the PHC. There’s a small field behind the PHC, and once you get there, you’re in Benchmark Plaza (Benchmark, for short). Benchmark Plaza is made up of three buildings that house upperclass students (sophomores, juniors, and seniors). The building on the left of the field is building 820, and it has the Equity Office, Inclusion Center, and Computer Lab on its first floor. Across the Plaza is building 822. That’s the one closer to the PHC. That building houses the Housing & Residential Education Office on its first floor. Benchmark has apartment style housing, so between two and four students share each apartment, and everybody gets their own bedroom!
Further east of Benchmark is Shoreline Ridge. Shoreline Ridge (Shoreline, for short) is made up of six buildings that are available to upperclass and graduate students. Shoreline is also apartment style with two to four people per apartment. Shoreline is in an incredible location because there are plenty of hiking trails right out its back door! It also surrounds Solar Plaza, which is an area where students can mingle and study while their devices are charged by the solar panels that double as shady awnings for tables and benches. Solar Plaza even has a fire pit! you'll often hear the Benchmark and Shoreline areas together referred to as "Benchline."
Next, we have to visit the Hive. The Hive is a pizza place where you can spend your meal plan. If you head south from Shoreline Ridge, cross the parking lot, and cross Red Butte Canyon Road, you’ll come to The Hive. It’s a little lonely looking building with a parking lot out front. The Hive mainly serves as a late-night eatery where you can get pizza, wings, sandwiches, and pasta. You can use your flex dollars and meal transfers here!
If you walk downhill (west) from The Hive and follow Red Butte Canyon Road, you’ll get to Sage Point. Some people call Sage Point just Sage for short. Sage Point is made up of five buildings that all house exclusively first-year students. In Sage Point building 811, you can find a 24-hour fitness center! Sage Point also has indoor bike storage, plus community spaces and kitchenettes on every floor. Some parts of Sage Point are themed and house Living Learning Communities, just like Officers Circle.
Congratulations! You’ve finished your literary tour of Heritage Commons. Hopefully this helps you figure out how to get to your residence hall and know how to visit your friends that live in different areas than you. Please branch out and explore the area, and take advantage of the food and amenities available at Heritage Commons.