Overcrowding puts students in lounges

Unusually high numbers of students transferring to Geneseo during the Spring semester has caused the conversion of study lounges in Wayne, Niagara, and Onondaga into dorm rooms. Each of these rooms was intended to house six students until permanent housing was made available.

Upon receiving their housing assignments each student was informed that they were placed in temporary "converted lounge suites." According to Andrew Baker, assistant director of residence life, this is not the first time such accommodations have been used. This form of housing is used when every other means of lodging is exhausted. In addition to a formal housing assignment letter, attempts were made to contact the students by phone. Although no upper classmen transfers requested to move off-campus, they were contacted prior to the beginning of the semester. "We informed them that it was going to be a very full semester and offered to refund their deposit if they wanted to find alternate housing," said Baker.

According to the students, moving into the rooms was very chaotic and crowded. On top of the six women moving into Onondaga 321 South, the Internet and the cable were being installed at the same time.

Freshman Katie Barnes, a resident of Wayne 416, was under the impression that the room she would be living in would be a suite due to the number of names on her housing form. However, when she arrived at her intended room she was quite disappointed.

"I was really worried at first because I didn't get along with my roommates at my old college, and there were only two of them," said freshman Kait Rovnyak.

All of the students said that they were assured on Jan. 11, the day that they moved in, that these accommodations were temporary and were told that they would move out within the week. The men living in Onondaga 419 North left their belongings in boxes for the first week in anticipation of moving into their permanent rooms. However, according to Baker, to his knowledge no official statement was made to any students about the date in which they would be placed into a regular dorm room.

Despite their unusual living arrangements all of the residents of these "lounge rooms" found themselves comfortable in both their rooms and the community of their floors. After a month of living in their respective halls the students have found friendship and developed a routine.

"They [the College] put us through the stress of coming into this situation, moving at this point would just mean additional stress," said freshman Danielle VanAuken.

On Feb. 1 the remaining residents of Onondaga 419 North, freshmen Andy Pressman, Matt Deleva and Chris Owen, received a letter informing them that housing had opened up and that they were to move. They decided as a whole that they wanted to remain in their current room. In order to sway Residence Life, the trio made an appointment with Baker and compiled a petition with over 70 signatures. Despite their efforts, both Baker and Residence Life stood firm in their decision to move the students.

"These residents were told from the beginning that this situation was temporary, and it is our desire to return the lounge to its intended public use," said Baker.

The men felt that the ultimate decision that they were still required to move, despite all of their efforts, was unjust. "The public doesn't care about the room's intended use," said Owen. "It's like we're a package being shipped."