Editorial: UP needs long-term on-campus housing solution

By The Beacon | August 31, 2011 9:00pm

Forced Triples (Ann Truong -- The Beacon )

By The Beacon's Editorial Board

You would think the University of Portland would have learned from years past that the increasing retention rate and high number of returning students living on campus would force many freshmen into extended doubles.

This year, nearly 180 students moved into their dorm rooms with more roommates than expected. This number increased from last year's 160 students in extended doubles. The University also transformed two study lounges in Fields and Villa Maria Halls to house more than three students per room.

Rather than trying to fix this on-going issue with short-term solutions, the University needs to look beyond the current year to find a long-term solution.

Though there are enough students in extended doubles to fill another dorm, the University has no current plans to build one. Furthermore, the Office of Residence Life does not expect more than 10 to 20 students to leave the University before December.

Acclimating to the stress of college life can be tough for some students, especially those who have never shared a room before, let alone with more than one roommate. Though living with more than one person is a fast way to make friends, it can cause anxiety due to cramped living quarters or tension between roommates who have different schedules or levels of cleanliness.

Students should take note there are no "bad guys" in this situation. The Office of Admissions lowered its acceptance rate by one percent since last year partly in order to mitigate the overcrowding in campus housing. This is a scary move, especially in this economy, where it is tough to estimate how many students will choose to attend UP due to the high cost of tuition.

It should also be noted that it is not all bad news for students forced to live with more than one roommate. To all the upset parents, you are getting a price break.


Instead of requiring non-commuter students to live on-campus during freshman year, the University should allow freshmen the choice of off-campus housing. The University could also limit how many returning students are able to live in on-campus housing. Though living off-campus may take away from the "college experience," living in an extended double may also detract time spent studying or sleeping.