This past Sept., school officials informed tripled freshmen and transfer students that they should expect to remain tripled for the rest of the year, but housing prospects for these students may be brighter than expected.
Alan S. deVries, associate director of residential programs for administration and services division of Campus Residences, said recently that most triples would be broken up “realistically, by March.”
DeVries said if construction of Building I in the West Apartments is completed by its target date, which is early spring semester, then the remaining tripled students will be de-tripled.
Juniors and seniors who are waiting to move into the West Apartments will be moved out of the dorms and into Building I. Currently deVries said there are 300 students on the waiting list. The remaining tripled students will then move into the new vacant space in the dorms.
“This school year has been the most challenging in terms of providing students with on-campus housing,” said deVries, because this year 400 transfer students and 2,400 freshmen students were tripled. This was the first year transfer students were tripled.
Students are de-tripled through a “lottery, by gender, [and] by quad,” said deVries. This means if there is an available room or suite in a certain quad that has a free spot that room will go to the student who meets the requirements. For example, if there is a dorm available in a woman’s room or suite, then a female tripled student who lives in that same quad would move into that free space. Rooms with “no-shows” are the first rooms that tripled students are moved to.
According to the five-year plan, designed by a task force composed of students, faculty and staff, Stony Brook admissions will increase enrollment from 22,500 students in 2006 to 27,000 within the next five years; 9,500 of the new students will be graduate students and 17,500 will be undergraduates.
In terms of on-campus housing, “next year promises to be the same” said deVries.
President Shirley Strum Kenny said in a meeting to discuss the five-year plan that there is not an increase in the number of freshmen who are accepted to the university, but rather that more returning students are deciding to live on-campus.
DeVries said he believes more upperclassmen are choosing to live on campus because the off-campus market is too expensive for many students. University officials have tried to work with hotels within the area to house students, but deVries said they could not negotiate an affordable price.
Renting a one-bedroom apartment in Smithtown ranges from $1,795 to $2,025 a month, according to the Avalon Communities website, and a two-bedroom apartment with one bathroom goes for $2,017 a month. A one-bedroom apartment in the Chapin Apartments goes for $1,019, and a one-bedroom apartment in the Schomburg Apartments is $1,165.
DeVries said that if the university continues to receive limited funding from the state then there will be increases in housing costs for students.
The university will reconstruct the cafeteria in Roosevelt Quad into a residence hall with 600 beds. The new residence hall in Roosevelt is to be completed by August 2009. DeVries said that every year, 200 beds will be added to each residence hall. But his main concern that, if the university builds new residential halls, whether or not there will be students to fill them.
“My concern is there will be no need of housing for the long term,” he said.
DeVries said the university will begin to build more housing on campus if student enrollment increases.
Freshman Felix Khor, who lives in Hamilton in Kelly Quad, said, “I don’t mind being tripled as long as we get money.” Khor is referring to the refund check all tripled students receive at the end of the semester.
According to the Division of Campus Residences Over Capacity Housing Process, students are given $5 a day for every day they are tripled.
The de-tripling process continues throughout the semester, but deVries said that as the semester continues, “The process is much slower.”
Since 1996, the number of students who are of age to attend college has been increasing each year. DeVries expects that by 2011, the number of students applying to college “will level out.”