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Housing problems plague university
No one wants to be the last of eight girls in a Quinnipiac suite to shower on a Saturday night. Why? Because there is only one shower, leaving the last few with nothing but cold water and a hot temper.
Quinnipiac University has a problem with housing. Whether it is forced triples and not enough bathrooms in the Hill and Village, or the simple fact that the Irma and Dana rooms are just too small, campus housing is inadequate. Even though housing is an issue that both the administration and students are familiar with, it’s the students who have to deal with the consequences.
Jennifer McDermott, a junior physician’s assistant major, said “I’ve lived with two other roommates for the past three years. I’m 20 years old and sleeping in a bunk bed. That’s just sad.”
Many students share McDermott’s sentiment. However, there are others who feel that the issue goes beyond the size of the rooms in the dorms.
“I think that Quinnipiac officials have a close-minded perception about living situations. In my opinion, all they see is the money from the students going into their pockets, rather than worrying about the safety, comfort, and priorities of these students,” said Kellan O’Neill, a sophomore communications major.
Joseph Russolello, a sophomore physical therapy major, echoes the thoughts of O’Neill.
“I’m living in a forced triple in Perlroth. That’s squeezing one extra person into a room that was specifically built for two. We have two regular dressers that the school provides, and then a smaller one that looks like it was bought at the Salvation Army. Not only is it crowded, but I feel that it is an unacceptable environment for me to be able to do my work and be comfortable at the same time,” Russolello said.
Another issue related to housing is the lack of study lounges because they were turned into dorm rooms.
“I don’t think that the school should be allowed to convert study lounges into rooms. It isn’t fair that the rest of us can’t have a quiet room to do homework or study in if the library is too crowded. Quinnipiac should think of other means to solve the problem, like accepting less students or building more housing,” said Jamie Zile, junior pre-med major.
Quinnipiac has in fact thought about some of the options mentioned by Zile. Cindy Long-Porter, the director of Residential Life, had a few things to say in response to questions that many students have about housing.
“Residential Life’s purpose is to support the mission and direction of the university, and that means no matter how many people they accept, we have to support it with the limited facilities we have,” Long-Porter said. We are aware of the very real fact that we need more housing. However the town has imposed restrictions on what we are allowed to build on this campus. President Lahey is committed to deal with this problem, and in the five year plan of the university, we are hoping to begin building dormitories on the Sherman Avenue campus once it’s finished.”
Porter was asked about the addition of one more student to each of the Hill and Village suites.
“All options have to be on the table, and when we made this addition, we maxed out all of the space that we have. So we have to do what’s necessary for students to be comfortable,” Long-Porter said. “Our biggest concern was fitting in the furniture to accommodate for the added number of students, and facilities had to work to restructure the set-up of the room. We are trying to be as accommodating as we can for the students.”
As for the future, it seems that students need to be patient while the administration works something out.
“The problem is that the math doesn’t add up, the numbers don’t add up. And that’s something that we’re trying to work on, and will continue to work on until we get it right, because our main concern is accommodating the students at our university. One of the main things about college is the dormitory experience and we want our students to be able to have an enjoyable one,” Long-Porter said.