Pacific must respond to rising student population

posted in: Opinion | 0

Two is company, three’s a crowd, a lesson that freshmen here at Pacific University are learning all too well. Sharing a bedroom with one person can be crowded, but sharing one with two can be nearly impossible. This is a problem that many of the residents on the first floor of Walter Hall are currently dealing with.The problem of forced triples is one facing schools across the country. Pacific isn’t alone in this problem.

Many of the rooms have now switched from being a double to being a triple. And along with this change comes a whole slew of new issues surrounding the “exciting” experience of living with peers.

To start, there isn’t a lot of space to work with. The doubles in Walter were made to hold just two people, but throw in a third person and things can get a little cluttered. Sara Creighton, a freshman and Walter triple resident, mentioned “there isn’t a whole lot of space in the closets, especially since most of the triples are made up of girls. Girls have double the amount of clothes that guys do, minimum.” Residents of the first floor also have to divide the closet space in a weird way, since the closets are separated into four sections – there are only three people in the room.

But space isn’t the only issue here; compatibility is another. Sometimes roommates don’t get along, but it could get extremely complicated when three roommates hate each other, or when alliances start to form and two roommates hate the third. Kind of like the last episode of Survivor, where everyone wants to vote the one person that they despise off of the island.

The biggest issue, though, is public safety. In the event of an emergency, student furniture arrangements and crowding could pose a major risk to student safety. High bunk beds, beds crammed together and too many belongings in too little space will make it difficult for students to evacuate in a safe manner.

And with rising enrollment and a lack of land to build new dorms on, there really are few solutions to this problem. However, the doubles in Walter are extremely small, while the doubles in McCormick are larger. It would make more sense space-wise to turn the doubles in McCormick into triples. The furniture in Walter is built in, so the closets will always be a problem, while the furniture in McCormick is stand alone, meaning that they could just add in another set. But for this year, students will have to come up with clever solutions to the hand that they were dealt.


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