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Overcrowding Result of Housing Shortage

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Due to a housing shortage, over 400 incoming University at Albany students are living in triple bedrooms and lounge spaces.

“We managed to get accustomed to this, but almost every triple [bedroom] I’ve seen is so crowded,” said Anva Kondakciu, a freshman majoring in computer science who lives in an assigned triple bedroom on State Quad. “Nothing is even ready because they [her roommates] plan on moving out.”

As of last week, Residential Life reported 427 incoming students are living with three or more roommates on Indian Quad and State Quad.

Sophia Biasotti, a pre-law freshman living on State Quad, is among students waiting for space to open up for double bedrooms over the semester. Since moving in, Biasotti has grown uncomfortable with her triple bedroom living space.

“We’re always on top of each other and it’s kind of hot, so we need to have fans and that takes up more floor space that we don’t already have,” said Biasotti.

While the majority of students denied double bedrooms were assigned to live in triple bedrooms, 68 students were initially placed in converted study lounges, the number is now down to 64. Converted study lounges are not listed by the university under rooming options.

On Indian Quad, Leo Iddrisu, a freshman business major, was assigned to live with four roommates after being denied a double bedroom space. Now, in his current living assignment, resident assistants occasionally visit the space and roommates frequent the lounge, he said.

“I was trying to think of a time where there has been a private moment, but there’s no privacy,” Iddrisu said.

Jimmy Goldblatt, also a freshman business major and friend of Iddrisu, had his double bedroom housing request accepted. Visiting Iddrisu for the first time at Cayuga Lounge, Goldblatt noticed stark differences between the converted living space and his room at Mohawk Tower. 

“I walked into his room and thought, ‘How do you guys live like this?,’” said Goldblatt.

Unlike triple bedrooms, some lounges lack the same accommodations as dorm rooms. Francesca Esposito, a freshman journalism major, has light switches installed on the outside of her dorm room and her door only locks from the hallway.

“[My roommates and I] were sleeping and suddenly the light went on and someone from the outside turned it on,” she said.

While students such as Esposito grow discontent over living in temporary assignments, fewer students have been living in triple bedrooms and lounge spaces since late August. Triple bedrooms have decreased from 137 to 121, while four less students reside in lounge spaces.

Karl Luntta, the director of media relations, expects the number of incoming students in temporary housing to decrease throughout the semester.

“We know from experience that many students change their living arrangements during the fall semester and we’ve already begun the process of decreasing the number of tripled rooms,” said Luntta in an email.

As the university expects spaces to open up, students receive a 20 percent discount on housing for each week they remain in temporary assignments. When students decline a new space or occupancy reaches 100 percent, they become ineligible for the discount.

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Tyler A. McNeil is the current managing editor for the Albany Student Press. The Capital Region native previously served as managing editor for The Hudsonian, and as an intern for the Times Union and Capital Tonight.

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