Formerly the most despised undergraduate housing on campus, Trent Drive Hall has suddenly become a more attractive place to live, several of the dormitory's new residents said this week.
With the opening of the new West-Edens Link on West Campus, there was less need for the space in Trent, so beginning this fall administrators decided to offer double rooms in Trent as singles, but at the price of double rooms. A total of 67 took up the offer.
"I really like having a big room, and [living with] the block of friends from the past two years," said junior Laura Melvin, who is living in Trent with 11 other friends. "The biggest downside is that it is far away from everything else."
Many upperclass students decided to block in large groups in Trent because they were concerned that they would not be able to obtain housing on West. With all sophomores required to live on West now as part of the new residential life structure, juniors and seniors in particular were forced to seek new options.
"I would have loved to live on West, but with the new housing policy I didn't feel like we would end up with anything on West," Melvin said.
In addition, three unoccupied rooms were allotted to blocks of six or more for use as commons rooms, said Bill Burig, assistant dean of student development.
Since all of the rooms are singles, the dorm is less crowded, with this year's residents just a fraction of the nearly 300 students who lived there last year. Some students fear that will detract from a sense of community in the dorm, while others feel there will be more open doors because all the rooms are singles.
The small population of the dorm was also attractive to several students due to parking concerns. Students viewed the Trent parking lot as more convenient and safer than West's Blue Zone.
"Parking on West was inconvenient, and I couldn't use my car at night because it was unsafe to walk to my car at night," junior Amy Park said.
Some students, however, expressed concern about the loss of parking spaces in the Trent lot to Medical Center employees. The University decreased the number of spaces available to students when the number of students residing in the dorm decreased.
"I am a little worried. I don't see how the lot is going to accommodate everyone," junior Chris Garson said.
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