Our view: Three isn’t company

DKS Editors

For the last few semesters, Residence Services has had problems with residence halls being over capacity, and a fair number of students have had to live in lounges or with resident assistants for the first few weeks of the semester.

The students have later been uprooted from their temporary homes and thrown in with a new roommate to start the awkward first weeks of getting to know someone over again once the semester is already underway.

To solve this problem, Residence Services is now tripling up.

Jan. 30, students received an e-mail announcing the myriad changes being made to on-campus housing for Fall 2010. Among these changes was the added option for students to share triple rooms with a private bath for a reduced price.

This change is the result of a survey administered to students asking if they would be willing to occupy a triple room.

Residence Services reported that more than 50 percent were interested in such an arrangement, but that number included students who responded “somewhat interested.” That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement.

The survey was also only administered to roughly 2,500 students, which is a far smaller number than the actual amount of students living on campus.

This change raises a few questions about how efficient this problem-solving technique really is.

For one, why spend so much money — more than $200 million, in fact — to build new buildings and revamp the campus when that money could apparently be better spent building new dormitories to house the recent overflow in students living on campus?

Also, if we’re hurting for housing, why was small group torn down? Even if those dorms weren’t top-notch solutions for housing, something is better than nothing.

On top of the survey being a bit of a stretch in saying that the majority of students surveyed were in favor of the change, the change is sure to be an inconvenience to students living in the affected dorms — Stopher, Johnson and Centennials D, E and F — who will now have to share their room with two roommates. It may not affect everyone in those dorms, but it’s still an inconvenience.

Even though these are considered some of the swankier dorm rooms on campus, it’s hard to imagine these dorms will be able to effectively house three roommates without space issues or personality conflicts occurring. After all, room swaps aren’t uncommon during the fall semester when only two students are sharing a room — so what happens if all three roommates are unhappy with each other?

With all the unanswered questions surrounding the change, we can’t even begin to think the switch will go smoothly in the fall or that it will go over well with the rest of the on-campus students who were left out of the survey.

It’s enough to make you consider commuting.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.