On-campus housing still means forced triple and quad rooms

Several weeks ago, all UVM freshmen received a message in their inboxes that won’t mean much for some, but for those assigned to a triple or quad, means more roommates and less space.”With a record number of first-time, first-year students, transfer students and returning students, we anticipate opening with more than 5,400 residents,” the ResLife e-mail said. “To accomplish this, we will be required to use many triple rooms and even lounge spaces.”As part of UVM’s plan to balance the budget, the board of trustees voted last year to enroll 300 additional students.According to the initial budget assumptions in December, the additional students would generate $5 million to the 2010 budget.The process of admitting students cannot produce exact numbers, as according to Director of Admissions Elizabeth Wiser, only 16.7 percent of the students who are accepted will enroll.This year, Wiser said, the target was 2,585 freshmen and 475 transfer students. While the final numbers will not be known until after classes begin, UVM has some preliminary figures.”It looks like the final numbers will be slightly over our target, estimated to be 2,620 first year students and 485 transfer students,” Wiser said.To accommodate the new students and avoid converting more rooms to triples and quads, the board also approved the preparation of UVM-owned McAuley Hall to function as dorm space.Also new this year was the conversion of Trinity Campus’s dorms Ready, Hunt and Sichell to independent living, which made space more efficiently used by moving some RA rooms, Miller said.With all of the changes in place, Director of ResLife Stacey Miller said that there are 368 forced triples and converted lounges, approximately the same number as last year.”Triples are a normal part of our ResLife’s housing inventory, as we have had triples six out of the seven years that I’ve worked here,” Miller said.Miller said that as soon as spaces are identified, students will be de-tripled.”The general message we try to send all students and their worried parents is to be patient and that you are not alone,” Miller said. “We know that for some it is not the ideal living situation, but keeping a positive attitude will go along way in making your first semester in a triple a positive experience.”