Juliemar Ortiz – Special to the Southern News –
The Office of Residence Life is offering students who live on campus the opportunity to turn their double occupancy rooms into a single room for the Spring 2013 semester.
Every year, during the spring semester, there are less residents living on campus. Josh Sumrell, a graduate intern in the Office of Residence Life, who has been working as a Residence Life employee for almost eight semesters, said that because there are fewer residents in the spring, they are promoting the option for residents to buy out an entire double occupancy room to themselves. There are several factors as to why there are a lower number of residents in the spring semester.
“Some students transfer [to other] schools, others move into off campus apartments,” said Sumrell. In addition to the economy, having to pay for a meal plan in some dorms is a big factor. “It’s hard to pay for tuition in this economy,” said Sumrell, “let alone housing.”
Veronica Young, a sophomore resident of Chase Hall lives in a double occupancy room by herself this semester. Young, who had a roommate in the Fall 2012 semester, was one of the residents who was offered to make her room a single. She said when she moved in there was a paper on her door that read, “Make Mine a Single!” She read on and found out that if she wanted to take advantage of the opportunity, her bursar’s account could be billed an extra $1,145.00 and she would not be assigned a second roommate. For Young, however, this option was expensive and unnecessary.
“I think it’s pointless because I don’t think I’ll get a roommate,” said Young.
This was the attitude of some other residents as well. Young said when she first moved into her residence hall, she overheard someone ask their Community Coordinator about the “Make Mine a Single” paper on his door. Young said, “When the CC (Community Coordinator) explained it to him, he said ‘Why would anyone want to do that?’”
For the students who do not buy out their room, another person can be placed in that room immediately.
For Christian Hernandez, a sophomore, having a single occupancy room is convenient when living on campus. Hernandez, who is living in a single room for the first time this semester, said living by himself is more expensive but easier. “It’s my own space and I can do whatever I want,” said Hernandez. He said he prefers living alone because he no longer has to worry about getting along with roommates, sharing the TV, or sharing living space.
According to the Southern website, the cost of a standard double occupancy room and meal plan for the 2012-2013 academic year is $5,343.50. A standard single in the straight-line buildings, which are Chase, Wilkinson, Hickerson, Neff, and Farnham is $4,075.00. The cost of a standard meal plan is $2,391. That would bring the cost of a single room and meal plan to well over $6,000.
Brandon Rothschild, a community coordinator in Chase Hall, said there are double occupancy rooms on his floor with only one person living in it but no one on his floor has bought their room yet.
As far as how this affects residents in the upcoming fall semester, Sumrell said it does not. He said that because this happens every year there is no effect on the cost of housing for the next year.
“There’s always a bounce back in the fall,” said Sumrell.