A problem once limited to North side Honors floors has now stricken the freshmen class as a whole: the forced triple. About 41 percent, or 621 freshmen, are forced to cram three people in a space designed for two.
The time has come for the university to take some definitive action regarding this housing crisis. Obviously, Housing and Dining’s pleas for upperclassmen to move off-campus (without a refund of their housing deposit, of course) wasn’t successful, and neither was the expensive experiment that was Park Bethesda.
Next year Housing and Dining can rely on additional housing at Nebraska Hall, but these additional 120 spots won’t relieve another housing crisis of this year’s magnitude.
While real estate in the area comes with a hefty price tag, the university should consider some kind of partnership with a nearby apartment building. This would provide another alternative for upperclassmen, opening up more rooms for incoming freshmen, and alleviate the crunch that will inevitably hit off-campus housing in the coming years as the class of 2010 flees campus housing for better options.
A freshman’s living experience is a key factor in whether or not he or she bonds with his or her university. As the university administration continues to glow about the improved academic quality of the incoming freshman class, they are neglecting the inevitable. Word will get back to future outstanding seniors about the cramped living conditions at AU and the outstanding freshmen the university is so proud of will no longer choose to attend AU.
Along with the forced triples, some students are forced to live barracks-style in lounges on South side. Good luck if you’re one of the poor souls tripping over two roommates somewhere on South side; you don’t even have a lounge to flee to anymore.