Some of the campus gossip this semester included the rumor that there was a group of freshmen living in the common area of Gregory Hall due to the fact that the University of Dallas administration had run out of freshman dorm rooms for this year’s record-breaking freshman class.
The rumors varied widely in plausibility, with some upperclassmen denying its existence and others claiming that six freshmen were stuffed in a closet, sleeping on army cots.
Well, the existence of Room 231 has been confirmed, although it is nothing so extreme as the rumors.
Formerly a study room connected to the upstairs common area in Gregory Hall, Room 231 now houses two freshmen after a third roommate moved to a different dorm.
“It’s not infested with rodents and roaches so it’s good enough for me,” replied resident Aviana Quiroga when asked if the makeshift room had any unforeseen downsides.
She continued to explain that she was placed in the room after a mix-up with vaccination paperwork disallowed her from moving in until a later date than usual.
At any rate, the setup is not entirely problematic for the inhabitants. Originally intended to house four students, Quiroga and her roommate are left with extra space and furniture. A piece of black paper taped over the window in the door provides privacy.
It seems that the makeshift room is more of a sacrifice for the residents of Gregory’s standard rooms. Many considerate students simply avoid the upstairs rec room entirely out of concern that it will bother the study room dwellers.
Another problem is that open house hours apply to the common area due to the neighboring inhabitants.
However, the primary concern of many residents is that the upstairs rec room is the only common area with a television. Concern for the makeshift room’s peace and privacy leads many students to forego use of the television entirely.
“I like it,” Quiroga said. “My Xbox is never far from my room.”
Other students’ reactions to the situation have been almost as varied as the initial rumors. Some find it hilarious, while others are frustrated that the administration is unable to accommodate a growing student body. The administration did not respond to questions regarding this topic.
Ultimately, however, this situation revives an ever-present debate within the UD community concerning the ideal size of the student body. Many faculty and students express the importance of maintaining a small community that fosters close-knit relationships between students.
But regardless of one’s opinion, one thing remains clear: if UD is to grow any more, significant changes to the campus will have to take place, including, most importantly, more room for student housing.
One short-term solution for which many students are calling is the need for seniors to move off campus. Some of those who meet the eligibility requirements to move off campus decline to do so, taking up valuable space that could be used by younger students who are not eligible to do so.
However, forcing seniors to move off the UD campus will prove extremely inconvenient to some, especially those who do not have a car.
Alternatively, others are requesting that administration grant exceptions to the requirements, freeing up space by allowing juniors to move off campus.
Whether or not this happens, UD will eventually have to make the decision to either create more housing on campus, or to reject more applications from prospective students wishing to attend UD.
Either way, the University of Dallas has some serious soul-searching to do.