Relief could be on the way for students who have lived in converted lounge spaces or tripled rooms this semester.
Housing and Residence Life began accepting room change requests for the spring 2010 semester on Nov. 9. Because of a lack of vacancies on campus, students who lived in lounge spaces and tripled rooms will receive first pick of available dorm rooms.
Craig Allen, director of Housing and Residence Life, said that in previous years students searched available spaces and made room changes themselves on my.tcu.edu.
“But we have so few vacancies that we decided not to even open that up for next spring,” Allen said.
Hall directors also used to handle individual room change requests, but with the shortage of rooms this year, Housing and Residence Life officials decided to make the process run centrally through the department, Allen said.
Although any student can request a room change, students in converted rooms will be helped by Housing and Residence Life to find new assigned rooms, Allen said.
“But what we’re finding is that some of those students are not requesting to move,” Allen said. “If they’re fine in a triple and all three people want to be there, then we’re not going to make somebody move out.”
Beau Tiongson, a freshman film-TV-digital media major, lives in a lounge in Waits Hall and had seven roommates at one point this semester. He wrote in an e-mail that having that many roommates from different backgrounds was odd in the beginning, but proved positive as the semester continued.
“The best part is the diversity,” Tiongson said.
Allen said emptied lounges would be ideal, but students would not be reassigned if Housing and Residence Life could not move out all of the students who lived in them. The intention is to empty the lounges and return them to their intended student use.
Tiongson said he wanted to remain in the lounge because it had been an experience not available to most students. He heard rumors that he and his lounge roommates would be moved out as the year went on, but said he now thinks that they will be allowed to stay.
“At one point we had a whiteboard with all of our names on it and we felt like we were a part of a game of Survivor, crossing out one another’s name as we moved out,” Tiongson said.
Allen said the physical switching of rooms had been the trickiest part of spring housing. Each move depended on whether or not another student planned on moving out the room. One person could potentially stall everyone else, he said.
According to an e-mail sent to students Monday by Housing and Residence Life, students who were granted a room change were required to make arrangements with their hall director. The dates for move-out and move-in would follow final exams week, between Dec. 20-23 and Jan. 4-6.
Based on the number of students who lived on campus who would graduate in December, the department estimated that there would be between 15 to 20 vacancies, Allen said.
Freshman housing became the main concern because of the freshman vacancies; very few said they would leave to study abroad second semester or leave for an internship, Allen said. The only time freshman vacancies appear is when a student decides not to return to the university, and those typically are not known until January, Allen said, which would give Housing and Residence Life only one week before classes began to notify students on the wait list of room availabilities.
“For freshmen, they’re the students that we probably have to say, ‘Please be patient’ to the most,” Allen said.
Tiongson also said that he was still uncertain as to where he and his roommates would live the rest of the year.
“If a bunch of dorms are vacated, it only makes sense to try to fill those up with students living in triple dorms or lounges/lofts,” Tiongson said.
To request a room change:
Ãº E-mail email@example.com with hall requests, including TCU ID number, any halls requested and type of room preferred.
Ãº Include any preferred living communities.
Ãº Provide the name of a preferred roommate. An e-mail from that roommate must be sent with a mutual request
Canceled requests should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.