The number of “tripled” dorm rooms at Stony Brook University has hit a record level this year, according to the Division of Campus Residences.
A triple occurs when a dorm room that typically holds two people instead houses three. Tripling happens when the number of residents exceeds the number of available rooms, thus forcing the doubled rooms to house an extra student each. Triples are mostly assigned to the freshmen class, but any resident can choose to live in a triple as well.
There are approximately 585 tripled rooms this fall, representing 7.1 percent of the total undergraduate bed spaces on campus, according to Alan DeVries, the associate director of residential programs and administrative services and the director of conference housing.
Last fall, there were only about 450 triples, constituting 5.5 percent of the total bed spaces, he said in an email.
DeVries explained that such a spike in numbers partly stems from the fact that fewer accepted students are commuters this year.
“The increase to a great extent is the result of higher renewal rates of returning students as well as the growth of students coming from outside the metropolitan area who are more likely to require on campus housing than students who enroll from local communities,” he said. “The application rate of new Freshmen and Transfers is actually unchanged from prior years.”
Regardless of the reason, many students are unhappy being tripled. Sam Rodriguez and Salvatore Delprince, two freshmen living in triples in Greeley College, said that they would rather be living in doubles.
“I don’t feel comfortable being in my room,” Rodriguez said, “and I only found out four days before moving in that I would have two roommates.”
Delprince was lucky in that his room has three desks, while many triples are only furnished with two. When asked about compensation, he said “we got a portable phone charger, but I don’t even use it.”
In addition, each student placed in a triple is given a 15 percent discount on his or her room for the semester, according to the tripling FAQ page on the Campus Residences website. The credit is posted to the resident’s student account after he or she is offered the opportunity to detriple.
Krystal Cunningham and Marissa Joy, two juniors who live in Dreiser College in Tabler Quad, said they were just as unhappy when they were tripled in the same room as freshmen.
“There wasn’t room for three people,” Cunningham said. “I had to store some of my belongings in the common room because it couldn’t fit in my room.”
However, they were only tripled for about a week before they were given the chance to detriple.
“Each room is assigned a lottery number at the beginning of the fall semester, and spaces are detripled in that order, as vacancies in the quad are identified,” the tripling FAQ page states. “While some rooms will be detripled relatively quickly, it is possible that your room may not be detripled this academic year.”
The detripling lottery list can be viewed on the tripling page on the Campus Residences website.
Although tripling does not happen at the Brookhaven Residential Village, or BRV, dorms on Dowling College’s Shirley campus, some of its residents are left feeling unsatisfied as well.
BRV houses approximately 200 Stony Brook students on the second and third floors, while Dowling College students live mostly on the first floor of the building, according to Hannah Sahawneh, a senior-year resident assistant at BRV.
She said that Stony Brook transfer students randomly get placed there because there is no more room on campus. However, some students have requested to return to BRV this academic year.
In terms of dissatisfaction among residents, Sahawneh said that although there is more space in their dorms, including kitchen areas and two bathrooms per suite, residents tell her that they wish they were on campus due to the distance. It takes BRV students approximately 35 minutes to get to school via bus.
To fix this problem, she said that the RAs try very hard to create that on-campus feeling by hosting frequent events with the assistance of their student life specialist, Michael Austin.
Students have the option to move to a different quad on campus the following academic year.
“New students who accept this housing assignment are guaranteed on-campus housing on the Stony Brook campus in the Fall 2016 semester, contingent upon completion of all registration and housing renewal processes by the appropriate deadlines,” Stony Brook’s BRV website states.
Due to the abundance of resident students, the university is building a new dorm building located on Stony Brook’s Toll Drive that is expected to open for Fall 2016. It will consist of 759 more beds, bringing the total campus housing inventory to over 10,300 beds, according to the Campus Residences website.