Roommates adjust to forced triples

By The Beacon | October 27, 2010 9:00pm

Despite cramped quarters of ‘forced triples,’ some students enjoy living in them

Freshman Benjamin Cornish shares a room with two other people in a dorm room originally suited for two. At the beginning of the semester there were 20 "forced triples" and only six of these have been broken down into regular doubles. (Scott Chia -- The Beacon)

By Elizabeth Vogel, Staff Writer --

When freshmen Nick Nobriga saw the size of his dorm room for the first time, he was surprised.

"When they told me I'd be in a triple, at first I thought I was in a really big room," he said.

Nobriga is just one of many freshmen placed in a "forced triple." Due to the largest freshmen class in UP's history and the greater number of women, some halls were converted to female rooms, leaving less space for UP men.

According to senior Nick Etzel, an RA on the third floor of Schoenfeldt Hall, seven out of the nine 180 square foot rooms on his floor are "forced triples."

Nobriga shares one of these rooms with freshmen Clinton Malson and Kyle DeFrancia.

Despite the cramped quarters, the roommates said they get along. However, they had to make sacrifices to fit comfortably.

"We had to get rid of our dresser to consolidate," DeFrancia said. They also had to move the TV.

"We used to have the TV (by the sink) but it wasn't working. Toothpaste would end up on it," Nobriga said.

In addition to furniture issues, the roommates have also had to make social sacrifices.

"It's hard to have people come over," DeFrancia said.

Michael Walsh, director of Residence Life, said that more parents than students have complained about the rooms. Residence Life is not planning on changing the way housing works next year.

"It's the same as always," said Walsh. "We guarantee housing for first time freshmen."

Both Nobriga and Defrancia said they plan to live on campus next year. Malson, however, will move off campus. "I'm planning on staying here over the summer anyway, so it makes more sense to live off campus," Malson said.

At the beginning of the year, Residence Life was hoping to move some affected students into regular rooms as students dropped out of UP. But due to University of Portland's high freshman retention rate, few rooms have become available for students.

"After the semester began we were able to break down six forced rooms," Walsh said.

There were about 20 "forced triples" at the beginning of the semester.

Some students on Etzel's floor in Schoenfeldt were given the opportunity to move.

"One person left to go to Kenna, so a room opened," he said.

Still, despite close quarters, not everyone is anxious to move out of "forced triples." Nobriga was given the opportunity to move into a regular room in Kenna, but he turned it down.

"My friends are here, and Nick (the RA)," he said. "I like this hall. It didn't make sense to move."