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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

With housing at capacity, students settle in to lounges

<m, aside from copious amounts of snow, the Carleton campus also welcomed back approximately 180 students returning from off-campus studies programs. However, because this influx exceeded the number of students going abroad this winter, there were not enough dorm rooms to accommodate everyone. To resolve this housing shortage, select lounges in Goodhue, Myers, and Evans Hall have been temporarily transformed into student rooms. Extra hall director apartments are also being used for this purpose.

24 students are currently living in this expanded housing situation. Director of ResLife, Steve Wisener, said, “This was just one of those terms where we didn’t have as many students choose to go on off-campus programs. Winter term is always the term when we have the most students on campus.” Usually just enough students will choose to go abroad to allow the right number of vacant rooms, “but this time we just didn’t get the numbers that we needed,” said Wisener.

Housing shortages have occurred in the past, though for a different reason. “The last time we needed to use lounge space for housing was when we renovated Nourse Hall,” said Wisener. “We were short of space because the entire building was shut down.”

In converting the lounge spaces, all the lounge furniture was either relocated or placed in storage, and locks were placed on the doors. The windows facing the hallways also had to be covered to provide light control and privacy for occupants. A student in this living situation said, “I thought it was going to be terrible, but it’s actually nice for what it is. I can’t control the heat setting and there are no towel racks. But those are really minor inconveniences, not a big deal at all.”

According to Wisener, thus far the RAs have reported that everyone is doing their best to make the living arrangement workable and the students living in them are making the most of it. Weisener also said, “those who live on the floors that had to give up some lounge space are very understanding and accommodating.”

“We just have one less place to study now,” commented one student.

Fortunately, the housing shortage could be resolved come spring term. “At this point, it looks like we have enough students who have indicated they intend to be off campus,” said Weisener. “Therefore we should have enough space to get the students into actual student rooms and return the lounge space back to the community.”

The construction of the two new dorms will help in resolving this type of problem. However, aside from this addition, several other changes related to ResLife are also being made. In order to fill the new dorms, ResLife will be offering fewer Northfield Option offers. “In reducing the offers by at least half, we’d require more students to live on campus,” said Wisener. “In addition, we’d like to repurpose some spaces currently being used for student housing. For example, returning Page House back to faculty housing and returning Stadium to the athletic department.” There are also plans to reduce the occupancy of the corner rooms in Watson Hall from triples to doubles. Thus, though the new residence halls will help with space on campus, “it won’t necessarily prevent future housing situations similar to this one,” said Wisener. “It is still possible that if our off-campus numbers continue to fluctuate each term, we could be caught short from time to time.”

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