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Limited space forces quick fix

Anna Gelhaus | Thursday, August 26, 2004

Jessica, Lisa and Katherine are in a room that held just Lindsay and Nina last year.

The names may change, but the situation is the same all over Notre Dame. Dorm rooms that once held two are now holding three, and every available study lounge is being converted to living space.

The Office of Residence Life and Housing attributed the overcrowding issues, more pressing in women’s dorms than men’s, to a larger amount of seniors staying on campus and more female admits.

Welsh Family Hall freshmen Katherine Hart, Lisa Zickuhr and Jessica Cortez share a triple that was last year a double. Although they agree the situation is working well so far, they did question it at first.

Hart explained that the ResLife Web site said there were no triples in her dorm. Distressed, she called her rectress about the situation.

“It’s just not a triple room,” she said.

They remain optimistic nonetheless.

“It’s as well as it can work with three people,” Zickuhr said. “It’s only the second day of school, though. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.”

Hart agreed, looking at the situation with rose-colored glasses.

“I think it has a much [space] as the older dorms do,” Hart said. “With smaller rooms, and futons, the space is about the same. I think it will work real well.”

The girls’ room contains three sets of modular furniture, each lofted to create enough space.

Nina Meyer, a former resident of Hart, Zickuhr, and Cortez’s room, thought the girls did a good job with its organization, but still had some concerns about the room’s resources.

“Common areas, like the sink or entry way, that everyone uses are compromised,” Meyer said. “I’d rather have a smaller double than a triple built for two.”

Before students moved in, ResLife evaluated study lounges to see if they were livable and dorm rooms to see if they could feasibly hold another set of furniture.

Transfer students were also affected by the space constraints. About 17 female transfer students to Notre Dame are living in Regina North Hall at Saint Mary’s as an alternative to off-campus housing.

Michelle Russell, director of Residence Life at Saint Mary’s, explained the College simply had the space to accommodate these students at a time when Notre Dame was tightening its belt.

Though they are officially Notre Dame students, the women will be under the jurisdiction of a Saint Mary’s resident assistant.

“They are expected to follow Saint Mary’s policy,” Russell said. “[Regarding discipline], we would be in consultation with Notre Dame on what course of action to take. They each received a Saint Mary’s handbook to familiarize themselves with the policies and easily follow them.”

As housing at Notre Dame becomes available, transfers such as those at Saint Mary’s, will have the opportunity to move to their own campus.