Residence Life

By The Beacon | September 10, 2010 9:00pm

Freshman Travis Porter looks over his new room in Villa Maria Hall. Porter, like many freshmen, were assigned rooms that are “forced triples,” where three students are assigned to a standard two-person dorm. (Bryan Brenize -- The Beacon)

By Enid Spitz, Staff Writer --

One room, 195 square feet, three freshman boys.

This year, due to the large size of the incoming freshman class, UP's Residence Life has converted some standard double dorm rooms into triple occupancy dorms.

"I thought it might be a mistake," freshman Adam Brizzolara said when he heard he would be in a forced triple.

The coed dorms, Shipstad and Kenna, needed more female rooms to accommodate the large numbers of the incoming freshman girls. About 60 freshman males, who receive one housing credit and pay $750 less for housing, are affected by this change.

New "forced triples" are located in Christie, Villa Maria, and Schoenfeldt Halls. Residence Life placed students in forced triples based on the date their housing applications were submitted, said Kathi Hamilton, the Residence Life Housing located in Christie, Villa Maria and Schoenfeldt Halls. Residence Life placed students in forced triples based on the date their housing applications were submitted said Kathi Hamilton, the Residence Life Housing Coordinator at UP.

But, why only the boys?

"Females don't do well when you put them in forced triples, but males handle it better," Hamilton said.

Even after UP opened two new dorms, Fields and Schoenfeldt Halls, in 2009, space is still tight.

"It is a challenge to have everything we need to accommodate them," Hamilton said.

Residence Life worked closely with the Admissions Department during the summer months to assess which rooms could be made into triples and to order new furniture for the dorms.

The University has sought to ease the inevitable anxiety, which is heightened by this unusual situation of the freshman and parents who call with concerns.

"Parents," Hamilton says, "are afraid it won't be an environment their student will thrive in."

The students, however, seem unfazed.

"I like it — more people to talk to," said Jarren Villagomez, a freshman triple resident on Schoenfeldt's second floor.

Brizzolara, who lives down the hall, said, "I was expecting, like, a jail cell." But the threat of crowding brought on by his large class doesn't faze him.

"The more the merrier."

Still, Residence Life says it hopes to move all the affected students into a regular housing situation as soon as possible. Typically, after the first week, the full refund period, some students decide to leave UP.

The young men in forced triples will then attend "consolidation meetings," where they can decide on their future rooming situation. They will have the option of relocating to fill any vacated space. It is not unheard of for students to decide to remain in their forced triple.

Hamilton points out that the large freshman class enhances the community aspect of campus.

"This is an experience you will not repeat," she said.

In the face of the unexpected housing crunch, Residence Life hopes students will grow

Freshman Ethan Barnes moving into his new extended double in Christie Hall. (Bryan Brenize -- The Beacon)