Eighteen men land in converted dorm rooms

Although it has only been six days since returning study abroad students moved into their converted West Campus dorm rooms, resident responses seem to already suggest the new housing situation's negative impact on residential life.


 When Residence Life and Housing Services decided last semester to change study and commons areas into dorm rooms to accommodate the housing shortage, officials claimed the effects would be limited in scope.


 "We're only talking about nine pairs of people," said Director of Residence Life and Housing Services Eddie Hull. "It's not a significant impact on the whole. For those 18 it's a very important impact, but in the broader scheme of things I don't think it will pose any great hardship on anybody."


 Returning junior Cyrus Yamin, an occupant of a room in House B that was once a commons area, is satisfied with what RLHS has done.

"I've enjoyed it so far," said Yamin. "It's a spacious, accommodating room, and I think for this situation, it's alright."


 Yamin also seems to agree with Hull's claim that the new housing policy will not lead to any great difficulties. Even though Yamin cannot live with his fellow members of the Wayne Manor selective living group in Wannamaker dorm, he is still very content with how RLHS has accommodated him.


 "As far as that goes, I can always go by [Wayne Manor], and whenever people return from abroad, this is normal," Yamin said.

On the other hand, David Cohen and Dan Stepner, two juniors who now live in a converted study room of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity section in Few Quad, acknowledge that there are consequences to the changes even though they appreciate what RLHS has done for them.


 "They've taken care of us. I get to be on West, and I get to be in section, but it's unfortunate that they had to take space away from others," Cohen said.


 Like Cohen, many students realize their housing is affecting not just them, but also the other residents that previously used the common and study areas. This seems to contradict RLHS' claim that the effects of the new changes would be limited to the 18 students.


 "The most important thing to do in college is study, and it's surprising that they have done this to a study room," Cohen said.

Stepner is also concerned about reducing the amount of living space. He said, "All of our fraternity storage was in the study room, and when we moved in what was in [the room] before, it had to be moved into the kitchen."


 Cohen and Stepner said the kitchen will not be usable until RLHS supplies their living group with alternate storage.


 A study room in Beta Theta Pi's fraternity section of House Y is now being used as a triple. Ben Leshin, a junior and a member of the fraternity, is living in that room--and he is not pleased.


 "It's a loss of a pool room for us," Lashin said. "We've lost a recreation area, and there are [now] independents living in our section."


 Sajid Sharif, a resident of House B, lives near the commons room on his floor that was converted into a triple. The unhappy sophomore attributes his dissatisfaction over the new living arrangement to RLHS's irresponsibility.


 "They didn't show a whole lot of consideration when they did this, because they've essentially cut our living space in half, and our bathroom isn't made for twelve people," Sharif said.


 But Sharif, perhaps like many other residents, realizes the finality of this change, regardless of the negative effects.


 "Even though they don't seem to have a lot of regard for what students think, I'm going to have to live with it, because there really isn't anything I can do about it."


 While Hull understands some students have reason to be upset, he insists these changes must be effected.


 "We've received a couple of complaints from students who wish we didn't have to have these spaces used. We certainly empathize with them, but on the other hand we have an obligation to house these [returning] students on campus," Hull said.


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