Res. Hall Insights: Chadbourne Hall

Chadbourne Hall – The Chadbourne Residential College

The first thing anyone needs to know about Chadbourne is that the whole building is apart of the learning community called the Chadbourne Residential College (CRC). If you don’t know what a learning community is check out my previous post, “Which Dorm in the Best One?” aka University Housing: The Basics.

The CRC focuses on creating an intimate liberal arts college feel in the middle of the large research university that is UW-Madison. Living in the CRC gives you the opportunity to attend events that will engage you in the UW-Madison community, grow your professional skills (gotta pad that resume), and meet other students. They’ve gone to hear Neil DeGrasse Tyson speak, had Harrpy Potter marathons, and held conversations about hot button topics while everyone sips hot chocolate.

Check out other past events here! 

You can also take classes that take place right inside Chadbourne and are available only to students within the Chadbourne community. Not only are class sizes smaller with more recognizable faces, you can feel free to strut into class showcasing your new pjs.


Don’t feel overwhelmed at all the stuff going on either. Attendance is not mandatory because, well, you’re not in first grade anymore. If you having a busy week or are not really interested in one of the events, there’s no obligation.

Freshman Population

With Ogg Hall becoming exclusively for upperclassmen next academic year in 2015-2016, Chadbourne will likely have a huge number of freshman. Potentially up to 80% of the whole building could be freshman. With almost 600 students total, that’s still a lot of new friends to meet.

Building and Room Style

While the building has a traditional dormitory style (all double rooms separated into wings) recent renovations give the hall a more updated feel. Each floor now has three bathrooms and each room is air conditioned.

The double rooms are typical for what most freshman live in on the UW-Madison campus. Stackable and loftable furniture allow you to customize your room to what will suit you and your roommate’s needs. Heck, feel free to switch it up in the middle of the semester if you want! Take a peek at some of the main options you have.

chadbourne hall 2 chadbourne hall

Yes, the closet spaces look small (they’re about 3 feet wide and two feet deep), but don’t freak out yet. You can bring your own furniture when you move in. Bring hanging shoe racks, under the bed storage, and get your Pinterest on. Of course, be sure to get the okay from your roommate before you bring that two story shoe rack you made to hold your collection!


Chadbourne has a community bathroom set-up. I know those words immediately send shivers down your spine, but bare with me. Each floor has three wings which are either all men or women, and each wing has its own bathroom. This means that you will be sharing a bathroom with 20 other people. Again. Contain your fear for a moment.

The community bathrooms have about five shower stalls, toilet stalls, and sinks. The showers are in separate lockable stalls, so you can maintain your privacy.There shouldn’t be any issues with having to wait for a sink to brush your teeth or a shower in the morning. As college students we’ve all got some wacky schedules which spreads out the traffic enough that there tends not to be a “bathroom rush hour”.

Rheta’s Dining Hall

Chadbourne was built with Rheta’s (one of the housing dining facilities) attached to it! That means it’s time to scroll back up  to rewatch that gif. You’re going to need study/practice if you’re strutting into class AND Rheta’s in your pjs. Don’t worry. You have plenty of time if you start now.

Rheta’s is a medium sized dining hall that has seven food “stations” . Think of it like a food court with seven different restaurants. Plus, it has a grab and go convenience store called the Flamingo Run, so you can buy things to stuff in your mini fridge and other odds and ends like band-aids or ibuprofen.


Smack dab at the bottom of Bascom Hill you really can’t ask for a better location. Of course, that does mean walking up Bascom Hill is pretty much unavoidable. The humanities building and the business school are just across the street, and College library isn’t more than three blocks.

Reader Questions

Did I get something wrong? Did you live in Chadbourne and want to share your experiences? Want me to break down a specific residence hall next week? Comment below!


2 Comments on “Res. Hall Insights: Chadbourne Hall”

  1. cadembay says:

    Since the whole building of Chad is a learning community, does that mean we get to pick what floor to live in also?


    • Sierra Livesey says:

      Thanks for the question! Yes, since the whole building is a learning community, when you select a room online you will be able to see the rooms available on all floors. There are some rooms in Chadbourne with great capital and lake views!


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