Many Committee students opt to live in the residential neighborhood of Hyde Park, close to the lab and close to the lake with its 17 miles of lakefront ideal for running, biking, and (in summer) swimming. The University of Chicago offers various Graduate Student Housing options, with buildings throughout Hyde Park, all of which are serviced by CTA buses running to and from campus. Other students choose to commute from more urban neighborhoods like Wicker Park or Bucktown, or more suburban areas such as Oak Park or Homewood. Wherever they choose to live, our students find Chicago is remarkably affordable for a major city, family friendly, and the portions are invariably huge in the vast diversity of downtown and neighborhood restaurants. Chicago has plenty of entertainment and culture to offer, from Millenium Park to world-class theatre, from the Shedd Aquarium to the Art Institute, from clubs and bars to the Lyric Opera, not to mention free summer concerts and dance series in the parks, the annual Chicago film, jazz and blues festivals, and of course major league sports.
The Biological Sciences Division Dean's Council includes student representatives from every program. Dean's Council frequently funds social events (such as barbecues or movie screenings) or subsidizes cultural events (such as sporting events, dance performances or symphony performances). The Committee on Development, Regeneration, and Stem Cell Biology hosts a famous annual Holiday Party. Back on campus our students have free access to the Gerald Ratner Athletic Center, including its huge Olympic size pool. Student soft ball leagues are taken very seriously and its easy to find pick-up basketball or soccer if these are your games of choice. The Ida Noyes Student Pub is a popular post-game hangout. Student-run Doc cinema offers an eclectic range of movies from the commercial to the avant-garde, with a smattering of classics thrown in for good measure. The Court Theatre is located right on campus and offers $10 student tickets to plays produced by “the most consistently excellent theatre company in America” (The Wall Street Journal). Without leaving campus students can also experience the Smart Museum of Art, the Oriental Institute or the Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House. Just a short stroll will bring students to any of numerous bookstores, including the Seminary Co-op and the towering shelves of rare and used books at Powells on 57th street.
Ratner Center. Photo: Courtesy Ratner Center