Lounge dwellers find relocation process harder than promised

Cody Francis

Moving brings new roommate troubles, those in temporary housing say


As a result of new room openings, most students who were temporarily living in lounges have been relocated to the empty spaces around campus, but some are finding inconvenience in the move to a more convenient room.

Nicole Morse, freshman early childhood education major and resident of a lounge in Fletcher Hall, said the process has been “infuriating.”

Morse said she is not unhappy because of the relocation but because of the fact that she was misled to believe the experience would be more accommodating.

Morse shared the lounge with three other students. She said Residence Services told them that once they were assigned their permanent rooms, they would stay together in pairs.

This is not the case, as two of Morse’s roommates have already moved into separate halls.

“We were told they wouldn’t break us up, but they are,” Morse said. “They expect us to start all over when everyone else has already made friends.”

T.J. Logan, senior assistant director of Residence Services, said there must have been a miscommunication between the students and Residence Services.

“The statement we made is we will try to make the best accommodation based on availability,” Logan said. “If students are trying to stay together and we can get them into the same building or as close as possible, we would like to work on that.”

Logan said keeping the students together would be ideal, but the urgency to get the space open is the first priority.

Out of the 133 students who lived in the lounges across campus, only 19 have yet to be permanently reassigned. The temporary housing is because of the residence halls operating at 102 percent capacity due to an abnormally large freshman class.

“At most universities, especially the good ones, everybody has an overflow,” said President Lester Lefton in a meeting with student media leaders. “You don’t want to have empty beds. Every good university around the country overbooks, expecting that you may have anywhere from five to a few hundred extra.

“What happens usually, within a month all the kids in overflow wind up in a regular room.”

Tamala Campbell, freshman athletic training major and Morse’s roommate, said she was misled to believe the room would have ample closet space, a MicroFridge and air conditioning – a utility not provided in the rooms in Fletcher Hall.

Logan again cited miscommunication for the misunderstanding.

“At no point did we tell them there would be a MicroFridge or anything like that,” Logan said. “We were always up front with what the accommodations would be.”

Logan said all of the students assigned temporary rooms were late applicants for housing. He said the expectations of late applicants should be different from those who apply early. He added that another reason for the overbooking of residence halls is because they do not want to turn the late applicants away.

“If you’re interested in the experience and you want to live on campus, we value that and we want to open it to everybody who wants it,” said Logan. “We aren’t doing it to put students in a bad situation.”

The temporary lounge rooms themselves have received praise from their residents. Most students would rather stay in the lounges than move to a conventional room.

“I love my room,” said Morse. “I’ve made friends in this hall and on this floor, and I am not ready to leave.”

Logan said most students have given him a positive response to the rooms, but they have no choice but to relocate them to be fair to the students who use the lounges to study.

“It’s not that we want to take it away from them; it is the fact that we want to give it back to the other students,” said Logan.

Contact room and board reporter Cody Francis at [email protected].