Students learn to live in lounges, triples

Sophomore transfer student Kunnal Buxani and his two roommates did more than hang out in the first floor study lounge of Leonard Hall for their first two weeks at AU.

They called it home.

"I was on a wait list for housing, and when I got here for orientation, I found out I could live in a study lounge," said Buxani, a transfer student in the Kogod School of Business, last week. "I think [living in the lounge] won't last long, but I don't know exactly when I will be out of here," Buxani said.

Gone are the couches and chairs normally found in AU residence hall lounges; in their places are bunk beds with built-in dressers and desks, affectionately called "units." Blue paper covers the windows facing the hallway so the students can have privacy.

Buxani's roommate David Parrish, also a sophomore transfer student in Kogod, says the situation could definitely be worse.

"There were supposed to be six people living in here, but three never showed up," Parrish said. "It would be a lot more crowded with all six of us in here."

The students are considered part of the second floor of Leonard Hall and meet there for floor meetings. That is also the location of the closest shower, which Buxani says is a little strange. In addition, the nearest men's room is on the opposite side of the hall, past the front desk.

"Having no one else in your hall is probably the worst part," said third roommate Jared Wilk, a freshman in the School of Communication who got into AU off the wait list. "But for me, living in a lounge is definitely better than living off campus."

While the Leonard study lounge is equipped with two phone lines, one drawback is that there is no Ethernet connection.

"We've had people coming by and saying they'll fix that, though," said Parrish.

Despite the location, the roommates have few complaints about their situation.

"Our [sleep and work] schedules haven't been a problem, and it really isn't that noisy," Buxani said.

Late last week, the three students were moved from the overflow housing space to triples.

Across campus, Sophomore Jeanose Lexima is settling into a triple in Letts Hall. Two roommates are also an improvement for Lexima--she spent her first week at AU living in Anderson 6K.

"When I applied, I was told that there was no housing and I would have to find something off campus," said Lexima, who transferred to AU this semester. "My decision was actually not to come here, but they called at the last minute to say they had a place for me."

Lexima was originally placed with five other girls in the Anderson lounge, which had enough space for eight occupants. The experience, according to Lexima, was both good and bad.

"The set-up was pretty nice, we had bunk beds lined up in the room and desks were built-in underneath," Lexima said. "But it was so big and empty, I couldn't believe it! And I didn't want to move too much stuff in, because I knew I'd have to move again."

Unlike the occupants of Leonard's first floor lounge, Lexima had access to an Ethernet connection and didn't have to leave the floor to shower.

"We had three phones, our own keys to the room, and we all shared one mailbox," Lexima said of her prior housing situation.

She says that it took more than a few phone calls to find out where--and when--she would be able to move. Lexima and her former roommates are now split up and living in dorm rooms on campus.

"I was pretty happy when I got the call last Tuesday telling me I could move into a triple," said Lexima.

Students continue to be moved from overflow housing and are de-tripled as housing becomes available. As of Thursday, 32 rooms had been de-tripled.

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