By LEXIE BOREN /// Staff Writer
NO ONE AT Lewis & Clark is a stranger to the dorms. Students all know how to downsize their wardrobes, grow their food stash and weather their roommate conflicts. When last year’s so-called “Classzilla” entered the housing lottery, Campus Living scrambled to find new solutions, including converting community lounges in Copeland and basement spaces in Forest into dorm rooms to accommodate the incoming freshmen. This year, the problem is less severe, but still apparent.
There are currently 39 students in overflow housing, in contrast to last year’s 214. Overflow students are housed in Stewart, Odell and Akin and returning students are not placed in overflow rooms.
“We feel really confident that next semester we’ll have plenty of space on campus to accommodate everyone, that we won’t have need of overflow,” Sandi Bottemiller, Director of Campus Living, said. “Now, that same situation occurred last year, and there were students who connected so well with their roommates and with their community that they didn’t really want to move. So we wouldn’t make somebody move if they’re happy there, but we wouldn’t be giving a rebate for the second semester, because then it’s a choice.”
The rebate mentioned by Bottemiller is a reduction of $797 on housing given to students in overflow housing during their first semester. Despite the lack of a rebate during the second semester, many students of the Classzilla era, like Seren Villwock ’19, chose not to move out of overflow housing when it was offered to them in the second semester.
“I liked the roommates I was with and we all liked Stewart, so we talked to the Area Director and said we would move out if there was an open space in Stewart, but that we didn’t want to move out of Stewart, and she found an open space for one of us to move out,” Villwock said. “We would have stayed in the triple because it was working okay for us if there were no other spaces in Stewart, but since there were we were able to de-triple after the semester.”
Despite immediate concerns by some, this year’s overflow students are finding that their living situation is more tenable than they imagined.
“I specifically remember filling out the housing form and having the option to opt into overflow, and being like, ‘No, no, I need space,’” Emma Celebrezze ’20, a student currently living in overflow housing, said. “Yet here we are. But I’ve been very pleasantly surprised.”
“There’s more people, so it’s less lonely,” Isabelle Grant ’20, another student in overflow housing, said. “Usually when I’m in here, although I can get time gaps where it’s just me, one of them is here, and I think it’s nice because we can all do our work separately but still be with another person. Also, we have an impressive snack collection between the three of us, which is much appreciated.”
Students concur that despite their worries about needing time and space to themselves, the company is unexpectedly welcome. However, because three students are living in a room designed for only two, space can get a little tight.
“It’s more difficult definitely to be organized, and that’s kind of a pain,” Dylan Deluise ’20 said. “It doesn’t have to do with living with two different people, it’s just the actual space is very limited. But if you like your roommates, you get two instant friends. I actually like the dynamic of three,”.
Many agree, good things come in threes.
“I honestly think that in doubles, most people don’t get along with their roommates,” Mamelang Memela ’20 said. “When you add a third person, it diffuses the situation.”