Freshmen struggle with housing

Residents at the University of Vermont are once again experiencing a common dilemma with the on-campus housing situation due to the arrival of the largest class in University history.

While some students were placed in triples despite their requests for other types of rooms, not all triples on campus are forced, Assistant Vice President for Student and Campus Life Annie Stevens said.

Some returning students applied for triples on Redstone Campus, which was designed with many rooms sized to be triples, she said.

Approximately 2,467 freshmen moved into the residential halls on campus. The rest of on-campus students were moved in on that Sunday. Of the students in residential halls, 1,100 are being housed in these triples, Stevens said.

Many students who find themselves in forced triples are slowly learning to adjust to their situation, dealing not only with less space in their rooms, but more time waiting for the shower and the loss of some lounges that are being used as temporary rooms, Stevens said.

“It’s really hard to concentrate when you can’t even move,” freshman Brittany Jean said. Jean is currently living in a forced triple in Christie Wright Patterson.

The offices of the University that deal with housing and student life took preventative measures to make the situation a smooth transition for the students, Stevens said.

Residential Advisors in all of the residential halls are doing their best to encourage students to take advantage of activities outside of the halls instead of being in their rooms too often.

“[Students must now] learn to manage their space,” Kofi Mensah, SGA senator and RA in UHeights North, said.

Other measures included informing incoming students who had not requested triples of the situation as well as purchasing new furniture to make triple rooms more comfortable and supporting off-campus housing options, Stevens said.

One proposed long-term solution to the housing situation was to request that more upperclassmen look for alternative housing in or near the city of Burlington. ResLife attempted to avoid forcing students off campus and offered space in the residential halls to at least every freshman student.

However, ResLife is doing its best to relocate students in triples and quads as rooms shift and space becomes available, Stevens said.

“Space is tight, but Residential Life is doing everything they can to address student needs and work with space and roommates ’til it eases up a bit more,” she said.