Cramped dorm rooms cause freshmen frustration

From left to right, freshmen Jenelle Graap, Mariah Ortiz and Jessica Giannitsis are sharing a room designed for only two students. All freshmen are in triple rooms this year.

Teagan Knowles/ The Record

From left to right, freshmen Jenelle Graap, Mariah Ortiz and Jessica Giannitsis are sharing a room designed for only two students. All freshmen are in triple rooms this year.

Jonny Moran, Executive Editor

As SUNY Buffalo State sees record-breaking freshman enrollment numbers this semester, freshman dorms are getting tighter.

Last year, Buffalo State welcomed almost 1,600 freshmen. This year, 2,000 freshmen are bunking up three to a room.

In the past, students have been placed in downtown hotels when space ran out on campus. “We don’t prefer to put first-year students off campus,” said Kris Kaufman, Buffalo State’s director of housing. “There’s a significant adjustment that takes place. With all of the programming and activities for first-year students being on campus, we decided to put students three to a room in all first-year halls.”

The rooms are set up like standard two-person dorm rooms, with two desks and one of the twin beds converted into a bunk bed. Along with the two standard closets is an extra wardrobe for the person assigned to the single bed to use for storage. The person assigned to the top bunk gets a full closet and desk, while the two students with bottom bunks must share a desk.

Students were not informed that they would be sharing their rooms with two roommates until after they had been accepted, a month before their move-in date.

Jessica Giannitsis, a freshman undeclared, lives in Porter Hall with two roommates. While she enjoys the extra company of an added roommate, she doesn’t like the clutter that comes with sharing a room with two first-year college students.

“Both of my roommates have a lot of belongings … it’s pretty messy,” Giannitsis said about her dorm room. “It makes it a lot harder for me to concentrate. It comes to a point where it’s stressful because it’s unorganized.”

Giannitsis said the amount of space in her room is not ideal for accommodating three students. Since she was assigned the single bed instead of the bunk, she has less storage space to put her things.

“It’s kind of inconvenient because it’s already such a small space and there’s even less than if it would be the two of us,” Giannitsis said. “I only have the wardrobe and then I had to buy a bunch of drawers and stuff to keep my things in.”

Kaufman acknowledged the possibility that putting all freshman three to a room could increase the dropout rate, but stressed that communication between roommates could minimize tension.

Emily Niman, a junior public communications major living in Neumann Hall, said she understood the complaints made by others about the living situation, but she wasn’t phased by the situation.

“When I found out I was going to have two roommates, I was worried,” Niman said. “But I get along with both of my roommates, so there haven’t really been any problems. They also gave us about $2,000 back, which was nice.”

Buffalo State freshman won’t be the only ones with an unusual living situation. About 200 transfer students are staying in spare dorms at Canisius. While the rooms aren’t as crowded, some students say the shuttle service to and from campus isn’t reliable. Ana Olmeda, a junior sociology major, says she and other students have had trouble with the conditions of the shuttles as well as the efficiency of the drivers.

“The white busses are really run-down and the blue busses [have nice seats but] are falling apart from the inside,” Olmeda said. “There’s a light bulb that the bus driver says was bothering him and he had to, like, unhook the light and take out the battery. This was already 10 minutes into the next schedule.”

Olmeda says one of the shuttle drivers routinely skips two of his scheduled bus stops to pick up his girlfriend and take an unauthorized lunch break.

“The worst part is you tell your RA’s that you’re having a problem and they just tell you [that] you have to go to [the Residence Life office],” she said. “And Res Life doesn’t do anything … They leave it in the hands of the transfer students and the transfer students don’t know their way around, and it’s just total confusion. Total chaos.”

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