There will be more suite-style doubles available in SWEP and Willison for the 2019-20 school year, according to an email sent out to students March 11 by Matt Pioch, director of housing.
Pioch said this decision was largely based on student responses he received after last year’s shift to increase the number of suite-style triple and quad rooms.
This change, which was meant to help satisfy the increased number of incoming students and to provide less expensive housing, left students upset.
To fight this change, several students on campus in last spring circulated a housing regulations petition that received more than 400 signatures, nearly 30 percent of the then-student population. Additional information regarding the petition can be read in an article published in the March 22 issue of The Yellow Jacket titled “Students demand change to housing regulations.”
Pioch said this petition and the opinions of students were both taken into consideration when deciding what housing options would be made available during the upcoming school year.
“This year, we had a decision to make,” Pioch said. “We could leave the triples as we did from last year, but from the feedback we received, a lot of students were upset that there weren’t a lot of doubles.”
In addition to more suite-style doubles becoming available next year, Pioch also said they have opened up additional applications to on-campus houses, which he said have gained students’ attention over the years.
“It seems like our applicant pool [for on-campus houses] since my first year of being here continues to grow,” Pioch said. “Roughly 50 percent of the applicant pool was denied last year.”
In addition to students’ reactions, there were other sources of input to make the final decision to adjust the housing selection options. For example, Pioch said he prepared all the data, but he also discussed the decision with Chris Hardie, assistant dean of student services. Pioch said the Rev. James Tinnemeyer, vice president for student services, “ultimately makes the call.”
There are also unexpected details that go into deciding how to offer housing selections. For example, Pioch said he has to consult with individuals who work in facilities services and maintenance on campus.
“Changing the dorms from triples to doubles adds to [the maintenance workers’] workload,” Pioch said. “They will have to move the furniture out to change all the triples into doubles.”
Overall, Pioch said he is hopeful that the decision to add more suite-style doubles and options for on-campus houses will be well-received.
“Because last year was this extraordinary year, it would be fair to give students back those doubles and to leave all of the houses open,” Pioch said. “We realize that the doubles and the on-campus houses are valuable to students.”
Pioch said so far, he hasn’t heard any negative comments in regards to the changes.
“Usually when we make housing decisions, if things are quiet, that’s a good thing,” Pioch said.