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Indian Quad students search for space amidst overflow

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As many freshmen Great Danes begin their fall semester classes, some first-year students in Indian Quad are feeling extra pressure from their crowded living arrangements.

Several students and university representatives have reported that the University at Albany’s Department of Residential Life has temporarily assigned students to “increased housing locations.” This decision comes as an effort “to ensure there was an adequate amount of housing for freshmen living on campus,” said Mike Nolan, UAlbany’s Senior Communications Specialist.

The class of 2022 is rather large, consisting of about 2,750 total students. Nolan said the Department of Residential Life is currently working towards a solution to this problem, agreeing that is a priority to the department.

The temporary assignments are designated areas in larger double rooms that are then converted into triples. Nolan noted. “We know from previous years that new and returning students will change their living arrangements during the fall semester. The Department of Residential Life is already in the process of identifying open spaces to decrease the number of tripled rooms.”

This is not the first occurrence of over-crowded living arrangements for UAlbany students. This is an issue that does occur frequently during fall semesters for incoming freshmen classes, and it is not uncommon among schools of UAlbany’s size.

Nolan said this year there were a total of 153 increased rooms, which is down by eight from last fall semester. Nolan also confirmed that these arrangements are not necessarily permanent, and that the affected students “will be offered a new housing assignment prior to the end of this semester.” However, Nolan adds, affected students who are satisfied with their living situations can choose to continue with their current arrangement until the end of the Spring 2019 semester.

Maxim Voler, a freshman in Indian Quad who served in the United States Army, was shocked by the conditions he moved into.

“It’s honestly insane that they put us in these living conditions… at basic training we had air-conditioning and heat, and much better bathrooms,” said Voler.

Several residents of Indian Quad have shared similar accounts of their time in their forced triple arrangements, and most of them agreed that it heightened tensions between their roommates. One resident, who requested anonymity, claimed that the intense heat, the packed desks/beds, and the bathroom situation, “prevented [him] from feeling comfortable around [his] room-mates.”

“The university should have expected the size of the freshmen class. If the quads can only hold a certain amount of students, the school should have reduced their amount of accepted students,”  he added, in response to Mike Nolan’s statement mentioned earlier.

These circumstances are not exclusive to the freshman residents in Indian Quad. There are several “forced-triple” housing situations in State Quad, including several in Eastman Tower.

An Eastman Tower resident, who requested to remain anonymous to preserve relationships with roommates, expressed her discontent about her living space.

“I would rather lose my desk to create more space than live in my room now,” she said.

Living on the top bunk, she has to climb first to her chair, then her desk, then finally the bed in a low-ceilinged room.

“I often feel uncomfortable changing in front of [my roommates] with such little space,” she said.

Almost all the students affected by the increased housing situation found out about their dorm details with the rest of the freshman this summer in July, but many believe they didn’t understand how difficult it might be in their rooms with an additional person and no additional room.

 

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