In a bold move to deal with the housing shortage that USF goes through every year, the Office of Residence Life has announced a change in housing next semester, allowing four students to live in a double room. ORL sources have also suggested the possibility of moving underclassmen out to tents on Welch Field.
Ashelynn Banks, a sophomore in the astrology and social justice program, said that she was shocked and angered by this development.
“This is just ridiculous. I live in a triple, and it’s already hard enough making room for everything and sharing closets and a fridge and whatnot,” Banks said. “I mean, there’s just so little space! Where are we supposed to hide the vodka now?”
“The housing quality will not decrease,” said Keith Nagayama, one of the residence hall directors responsible for the change. “And, just as they did this year for students in triples, RHA [Residence Hall Association] will continue to give students in triples and quadruples a free USF tote bag, a spiral-bound notebook and a few snacks. That will definitely make up for the inconvenience of the living arrangement for a year.”
However, ORL appears to have overlooked the future tent residents, and students are outraged about this.
“This goes against USF’s mission of social justice,” said freshman Leah Fish. “What if I end up living in a tent? Where’s my bag of goodies?”
According to Nagayama, the tent experience will not be vastly different from that of dorm life. “We try to keep everything as fair as possible. The amount of personal space each student will have in a tent,” he said, “is quite similar to that of a triple room; in other words: almost none.”
In order to keep the quality of living equal to that of the residence halls, a single Port-a-Potty will be set up on the field for use by all the tent residents, to mirror the student-to-bathroom ratio in the dorms. Showering will be made possible with a hose.
“However,” said Nagayama, “if the students living in the tents want to replicate the shower experience from the dorms, I’m afraid they’re going have to take matters into their own hands and sprinkle the field with hair and germs by themselves.”
While the changes to the housing system may be unpopular with the majority of the USF community, some students welcome them.
“I really don’t see why doubling up in the double rooms is that big of a deal,” said freshman John Johnson. “With tuition and housing fees as high as they are, I think the less we have to pay, the better, even if it means forcing a tiny, cramped living space meant for two people to support four students. Heck, why not five or six?”
Some students have decided to take action in opposition to the new housing options they say are unfair to freshmen and sophomores, who are required to live in on-campus housing for their first two years of college. A meeting was held Monday to discuss the event; three students attended.
“Some students obviously have a completely unfair advantage over regular students in their tent-building skills,” said Fish, who was present at the meeting. “This is just one more reason why the ROTC program needs to leave our campus.”
When asked about his concerns with the issue, Jedediah Goodbody, a freshman in the astrology and social justice program, expressed doubt and questioned ORL’s decision.
“Actually…uh…I haven’t heard much about this. I dunno. I’m not really up to date on this thing, but what I can say is, I’m not sure it’s good for students,” he said. “What’s this about again?”