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Housing changes stall without student demand

Each spring, students have their first choice for housing the following year.
Freshmen want to live in Brown Hall, sophomores hope to get into Bogstad Manor or Bogstad East, and juniors look to the townhouses. However, not everyone gets a good enough lottery number to get their first choice. Overcrowding in the small room of Bogstad Manor or the lack of personal space by not getting into the townhouses might frustrate students, but until there is an outcry for change, change will not come for years, according to Mikal Kenfield, associate director of Residence Life.

In Bogstad Manor, one bedroom is bigger than the other bedroom, and most people end up having desks or dressers in the general living space. Hattie Carrier, a junior, fits both bunks, dressers and desks into the small bedroom, but she said if her roommate is working at her desk, she can’t get in or out.

“It really seems like a bedroom for one person,” Carrier said.

The possibility of turning Bogstad Manor into triples instead of quads is one that Jasi O’Connor, director of Residence Life, and Kenfield have been considering for a few years, Kenfield said.

“There really isn’t any sort of official update,” she said.

However, as the largest class in Concordia’s history prepares to graduate this spring, “in the future there might be a way to house only three people in a Bog Manor apartment,” she said.

Pricing is an issue that needs to be figured out before any action could be taken. Kenfield said they do do not know if students would pay for the room individually or if the current total for four people would be split among three. If so, it is unknown how the payment would be divided considering that one person would have a private room.

Allowing Manor to be priced by room, and thus be triples or quads, raises the question of it possibly being doubles. Additionally, MyHousing, the online software currently used to register for housing, does not support this type of selection.

Carrier is looking for off-campus housing next year, because while she likes being on campus, she would love to have her own bedroom.

Stephen Guokas, a sophomore, plans to live off-campus next year, because there is simply more living space in off-campus housing than in the Bogstad Manor apartments.

While many students may feel the same way, Kenfield does not feel pressure.
“Sure, it’d be nice if we could only have one person in [the small Manor] bedroom,” she said, “and yet we’ve still had enough demand for housing that it’s never pushed us [into] choosing to go that way.”

Other options for campus’ overall master plan include building an additional townhouse and replacing the International Center with different immersion housing or other buildings. But it is uncertain when, or if, these changes will occur.

Some students silently move off-campus to find more spacious living, and some students can’t find housing off-campus. Some students consider campus living, even if it is crowded, a part of the college experience and will stay because of it.
“We don’t like to make decisions unless we really think students want that decision to be made,” Kenfield said.

Until on-campus residents voice their discontent with campus housing, request to live in Bogstad Manor as a triple or send a proposal through the Student Government Association, change won’t be made for the sake of change.

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