At a recent meeting Beren campus RAs were informed by the Housing administration that outside apartments will be utilized for housing students this coming semester. The Observer reported in October that housing this semester is maxed out; to fit all the students who requested housing this semester many students were placed in residence halls they did not request, study and social rooms in Brookdale were converted to dorms, and bunk beds were added to a number of rooms to increase their capacity. Given this situation it should come as no surprise that there will not be enough beds within Beren’s traditional housing buildings to house both current dorming population and the Shana Bet students and transfer students who will be arriving on campus for the Spring Semester.
To solve this shortage, housing will be renting a number of apartments from a building in the Beren Campus area to place students. Each apartment will house four to six students and will be equipped with a kitchen and bathroom, similar to set up of a dorm in the 35th Street residence hall. Housing said that the building will be within 4 to 5 blocks of one of the other buildings on the Beren Campus, although they did not specify which building, as the lease has not yet been signed.
The RAs were told that the new dorms will be treated like the traditional dorms, with the same rules (no alcohol or boys) and, presumably, similar security precautions. A new RA will even be hired for students in the new apartments.
Housing has expressed a desire that the new apartments to be used for students who have already been on campus for at least one semester, and would ideally like to fill the spots with whole rooms from Brookdale. They would prefer not to place Shana Bet and transfer students in these apartments because of the policy that first time on campus students should dorm in Brookdale. However this too may be subject to change, as these arrangements need to be considered in addition to the number of students who request housing changes and the number of students who plan to withdraw from housing for the second semester.
Housing asked the RAs to spread the news by word of mouth so that students would be aware of the option and have time to consider it before they open up the forms for people to request housing changes for second semester.
The Housing administration also emphasized in their meeting with the RAs that this is not the first time outside apartments have been utilized on Stern for overflow housing and that they have dealt with this type of situation in the past. Still, they claimed that the arrangement is meant to be a temporary situation only for the Spring semester.