Housing situation slowly improves

by Jeffrey Tanenhaus | 10/12/98 5:00am

Students living in West Wheelock St. housing due to this term's crunch will transfer back to residence halls and may be pulled into friends' rooms over Winter term, Acting Dean of Residential Life Mary Liscinsky said.

The unexpectedly large size of the Class of 2002 and a lack of off-campus programs this year forced the Office of Residential Life to place a number of students in converted lounges and on West Wheelock St.

At the beginning of the term, 11 freshmen lived in the former common areas and study rooms of Topliff, North and Mid Fayerweather, and Ripley dormitories.

Liscinsky called it a "tight, tight fall term."

Only two vacant freshman spaces within occupied rooms exist. These spaces serve as emergency beds and are reserved for roommate transfers in case of severe roommate conflicts.

The lounges selected for freshman residence were not chosen randomly. The Office of Residential Life examined the square footage to see which lounge rooms corresponded with the size of regular dormitory rooms. Some lounges were also outfitted with new furniture.

Jennifer Hoh '02, who is living in the basement lounge of Topliff, said, "The situation is unique. The one-room triple doesn't give us a lot of privacy, nor do the windows that face the street where people can watch us."

Living in the lounge has been a mixed blessing for Hoh's roommate, Francine Rubin '02. Rubin said, "The external closets are bulky, but all of our furniture is new. Overall, it has worked out well."

Jamie Herrington '02, who lives in the North Fayerweather lounge, has no regrets about his arrangements. "It's awesome, we have a great carpet, a huge amount of space, and double glass doors."

Sometimes living in former public areas has created an issue for other students. Hoh said, "People have come by and asked, 'hey, what happened to our lounge?'"

In the North Fayerweather lounge, however, Herrington said the situation is different. "People stop to look inside and become a little jealous at our room. It's a great way to meet people."

The use of dormitory lounges for non-recreational purposes is not new at the College. Over enrollment in the Fall of 1994 led to some public areas being turned into private rooms.

Liscinsky said, "We don't have a lot of wiggle room, but with a little creativity we can create a good environment for students. We appreciate their being good sports."