ResLife scrambles to provide freshman housing

Aaron Schaffer, Photo Editor

The class of 2017 is the largest freshman class to ever set foot in UR. With the mass of students coming to live on campus, the Office of Residential Life (ResLife)made unconventional preparations to accomodate them.

According to Associate Director for ResLife Karen Ely, 132 triples were set up in the Residential Quadrangle while five lounges in Susan B. Anthony Residence Halls were repurposed as quadruples.

“Approximately 30 percent of the freshman class is directly impacted by living in a triple or a quad,” Ely said. “The rest of the class is accommodated in doubles or single rooms in Susan B. Anthony, Gilbert, Tiernan, Hoeing, and Lovejoy Two.”

For residents considering a room change, it should be known that priority for these requests will go to students in quads and triples because ResLife hopes to return the lounges to their original function.

“Assignment changes are made whenever and wherever a space exists — meaning that if a student lives in the Quad and wants to live in Susan B. Anthony when a space exists, [ResLife] will offer that change to the student,” Ely said. “Typically, students get to accept or pass on a room change offer. With the students in the lounges, however, they will be reassigned to spaces as space is available.”

Although quads may sound undesirable, not all residents agree. Freshman Phyllis Imade, who lives in a lounge-turned quad, finds it acceptable.

“My first reaction when I found out that I would be living in a quad room was shock,” Imade said. “[It] was definitely a surprise.”

Still, Imade does not wish to move because she has become great friends with her roommates and does not mind sharing a room with them. Similarly, one of Imade’s roommates, freshman Pauline Mabie, said that she “enjoy[s] living in a quad” and would not mind being placed in a quad again.

They did acknowledge the downsides as well such as “fitting everything in one room” and having “limited privacy.”

In contrast, the occupants of triples are not so content with their housing situation. A major complaint that freshman Dan Kim and his roommates, occupants of a triple in Hoeing Hall, voiced was that the triple had little space.

“I applied to be in a triple because I wanted the discount in housing,” Kim said. “If not for financial reasons, I would want to be placed in a traditional double.”

However, Kim also said that “part of college is experiencing new things and learning to live under new circumstances,” and living in a triple seems to accomplish this.

“It is hard to predict what campus growth plans may mean for freshman housing,” Ely said. “Conversations will continue about how best to house — and support — current freshmen in subsequent years [because] freshman and upper class housing are interconnected.”

According to Ely, adjustments and allocation of spaces can be made differently when the sizes of each of the classes and housing retention rates are known.

UR “continues to review residence hall occupancy and on-campus housing demand to determine if additional residences may be needed in the future,” Ely said.

Kim is a member of the class of 2017.



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