Housing crunch plagues residents

courtney scrib

As a result of the continual housing shortage, freshman residents face tripling again this year.

While the Office of University Admissions carefully calculates the annual number of students to meet enrollment and housing goals, the demand for housing traditionally exceeds capacity because more students than anticipated accept offers of admission. As a result, some freshmen were placed in a room with three students instead of the usual two.

“I was definitely skeptical about how we were all going to fit, but I tried to keep an open mind about it,” freshman Lauren Bicknell said. “It’s funny because even though our room has less space, people like to come and hang out in here, which makes it feel even more crammed.”

According to Marie Schauder, assistant director for housing services, the only buildings in which students can be tripled are those with larger-sized rooms that can accommodate three sets of furniture and have three separate phone and data lines. Students residing in tripled rooms receive a discount equal to one-third of the applicable room rate for the semester.

“My mom started yelling how it wasn’t right of the school to do that to me when I told her that I was in a triple, but then I told her I got $800 off my tuition and she was fine,” freshman Sema Kim said.

Although housing vacancies do become available as a result of students deciding not to return for the spring semester, Schauder said that she believes there will still be triples by the end of the year.

“Based on my experiences in the past, by the time May comes around, we will have triples as well as vacancies,” Schauder said. “This is because [tripled roommates] choose not to move since they’ve already become acquainted with their roommates and neighbors.”

In addition, several juniors are fitting five people into traditional four person apartments. Schauder, however, said this resulted from the students’ own choosing and desire to room with certain people.

“We came up with the junior housing system last year so that students could study abroad, which quite a few do during their second semester,” she said. “It is only in those few times when a student decides not to go abroad that we have to deal with having five people living in one apartment.”

The increased number of single dorm room vacancies also made this year one of the first in which Residence Life was able to offer on-campus housing to transfer students living at Harcum College.