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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Three’s a Crowd

    Once again, Stony Brook University residences have been forced to triple freshmen around the campus quads. This year, over 9,000 students have requested on-campus housing, a 13% increase since 2003.

    ‘There are two reasons that have made students want to stay on campus,’ said Daniel Melucci, associate vice president for Strategy, Planning and Analysis. ‘One is because the $120 million investment in residences has really made a difference and has attracted students to stay on campus. Another is because the economy has been good and people have ready access to credit and therefore students want the full college experience.’

    ‘There has been more tripling than the demand we had originally projected for housing,’ said Melucci, who is also the chair of the Housing Planning Advising Committee (HPAC).

    HPAC is a committee of faculty, administrators, undergraduates, and east campus representatives who make recommendations on planning issues related to residential construction and facilities. This year, some of the transfer students are being tripled along with the freshmen.

    The housing assignments for the triples are distributed evenly among all quads. ‘Some of the lounges in Roosevelt are being used to accommodate students,’ said Dallas Bauman, assistant vice president of Campus Residences, ‘we show students the tripled rooms at orientation so they know what to expect when they arrive.’

    ‘The New York State Building Code states that there should be 150 square feet of living space for three people, and we triple up students where the criteria is met,’ Bauman continued.

    Tripling has been the common solution to meet increased demands for housing ever since the late 1990s. ‘Campuses across the country triple new students,’ Bauman said, ‘the alternative would be no housing and people don’t do any worse academically because of it.’

    ‘Statistics show that students who live on campus have greater chances of graduating, are more active alumni, and get a better feeling for the institution they are attending,’ Melucci said. ‘A long time ago, there was a rule where students whose homes were within a certain radius from the school were unable to dorm but we have disclosed that mile limit,’ Melucci continued. ‘The reason we do not do that now is because the HPAC, particularly faculty and the student affairs administration, believe that residential experience is vital and all students, regardless of where there home is, deserve that opportunity.’

    Instead of the radius limitations, the eight semester rule was implemented, where students can not dorm for more than eight semesters on campus unless space is available. One reason for allowing triples is because a significant number of people do not show up for the semester after paying their deposit.

    ‘There are a lot of ‘no shows’ where anticipated people do not show up,’ Bauman said. Because of ‘no shows,’ many of the students in the fall get de-tripled early in the semester. By spring time, there are increased numbers of vacancies, and so many of the triples become de-tripled. Tripling ensures that there will be no vacancies at any time, since the budget relies on room fees.

    ‘The revenue comes from the rent students pay. It covers things like maintenance, utilities, furniture and the debt services for building projects,’ Melucci said. ‘We plan on adding 600 beds by fall 2009 to take care of the demand,’ Bauman said, ‘there will be additional capacity in Roosevelt and Kelly and another building in West will be opening in the spring.’ The building in West will provide 173 new beds.

    Until more housing is available, freshmen will continue to be tripled. If a student opts to permanently remain tripled, the fees are $2,764 for a double room, whereas a normal double would cost $2,826. ‘Sometimes people get along so well that they don’t want to be de-tripled,’ Melucci said.

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