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A call to question about housing on campus

Most people will tell you that the majority of what you will learn in college, you will learn in the dorms.

Dorm life in college teaches you social skills, and you experience a wide variety of new situations living in a dorm for the first time.

According to http://collegebound.net, about 40 percent of full time students live on campus in public schools. At private colleges, 64 percent of full time students live in dormitories.

Room and board on campus cost an average of $7,748 at public colleges and $8,989 at private colleges, also shown in a college and university search survey found on http://collegebound.net.

However, despite the price, the majority of students choose to live on campus in dorms.

At Millersville University, so many students choose to live on campus that it results in an over-housing issue within the dorms.

Every dorm has a plethora of resident assistants, or RAs, and this year male RAs must actually share their usually single room with an incoming freshmen roommate.

Some students are even housed in “forced triples,” which is an overflow solution of putting three students in a double room.

Most forced triples are “de-tripled” within the first few days of school, but the over-

A student's overcrowded dorm room due to housing issues this fall semester
A student's overcrowded dorm room due to housing issues this fall semester

crowding in dorms could potentially become a severe issue in the future, as incoming freshmen classes seem to be increasing each year.

I interviewed three male RAs currently experiencing the effects of dorm over-crowding.

They each have a roommate instead of living alone, and had quite a bit to offer on a topic so close to home.

The RAs whose opinions shape this article are Bobby Bechtel, a Sophomore Communications Broadcasting major and first semester RA in Gaige, Matt Simkins, a Junior Physics major and second year RA in Bard, and Shawn Gilgore, a Junior Communications Broadcasting major and also second year RA in Bard.

All three RAs are currently living with roommates, and had a lot of thoughts about dorm over-housing at Millersville.

An incentive to becoming and RA is having a single room, to which all three RAs agreed.

Also, if you are like Gilgore, who had a bad roommate his freshmen year, the experience would drive one to become an RA.

Bechtel and Gilgore have freshmen roommates, who they did not expect to have, but who they both agree things are not as bad as they could be.

Simkins absolutely loves his roommate Jim, who is a transfer sophomore, but said he would not be as cool with a random freshmen roommate.

Bechtel says he does not mind having a freshmen roommate because, “it’s an easy way to make a new friend and I get along with anyone.”

The RA’s solutions to Millersville’s overflow issue included building more housing and having better communication between admissions and housing.

Simkin’s advice was that it is all a learning experience, and they just need to try different things over time, such as emptying storage areas to convert to dorm rooms.

Gilgore said eighteen rooms in Bard were originally forced triples, and it was a huge mess and overpopulated.

Bechtel’s opinion on forced triples is that they are a, “temporary solution and all residents will be de-tripled once housing is secured.”

He said he had a few forced triples in his wing but by move in day they were doubles.

Simkins’s opinion on forced triples was that it is the worst idea ever, but did say they have de-tripled all of Bard Hall.

The University is “de-tripling” first, and then moving out RA’s roommates.

Dorm life is a huge part of the college experience, and all RAs agreed it is pretty great at Millersville.

Bechtel noted that Bard and Gilbert were recently renovated and both look great.

Simkin, “feels like a freshmen every year”.

Simkin said the dorm is, “a great medium to meet everyone and connect with people of similar interests.”

However, Simkins also stated that you can not live in a dorm forever, and the process of living off campus is a good experience, a “small step into the real world.”

Simkins and Bechtel agreed in regards to living off campus that the process could be made easier, and Bechtel said, “all students should have the option to live on campus in a dorm.”

In Bechtel’s opinion, “the only way to lessen dorm over-housing is to build more dorms or to limit the number of incoming freshmen so that housing can be adequately supplied.”

All three agreed that over-crowding could be, or is a safety issue.

In case of fires it could be more difficult to evacuate quickly, said Gilgore.

Bechtel pointed out that one overloaded socket in a forced triple outlet could result in disaster.

Simkins brought up that three people in a two-person room is a mental health safety issue, causing a lot of stress.

Overall, there seems to be a mutual agreement that Millersville needs to build more housing.

Bechtel said he has, “never heard of a college that couldn’t supply housing to all students who wanted it, no matter what year they were.”

The male RAs seem to be dealing with the roommate situation amicably, Jim Leimsperger, Simkin’s roommate, is having a great time and was very excited about rooming with an old friend and meeting new ones as well.

Despite everything, Simkins still says being an RA is the best job on campus and he is fine with his roommate Scott staying in his room until another room opens up in the same hall for him to move to.

As of now, there is no timeline as to when the RA’s roommates will be moved out, but hopefully something will be done in general about housing on campus soon.

The outside of the residence hall, Bard, one of that dorms that had an issue with forced triple housed dorms, and RAs sharing their dorms with incoming freshman students
The outside of the residence hall, Bard, one of that dorms that had an issue with forced triple housed dorms, and RAs sharing their dorms with incoming freshman students