Dayrooms converted to dorm rooms

Amy Poppinga

Amy Poppinga

Continued growth at SDSU has led to a housing crunch in the residence halls this year, but a proposed new residence hall could solve these problems in the future.

Marysz Rames, vice president of student affairs, and Doug Wermedal, assistant vice president of student affairs, said consistent growth, coupled with a solid retention rate led to a shortage of rooms in the residence halls.

Sophomores planning to live on campus were sent letters telling them they could move off campus if they wished, even though students are generally required to live on campus for two years. Bob Otterson, executive assistant to the president, said this measure was only temporary, and second-year students will still be required to live on campus in the future.

The temporary measure did help alleviate the housing crunch to a point. In the end, approximately 50 students still didn’t have rooms, so some dayrooms were converted into dorm rooms.

Rames and Wermedal said these dayrooms – which are housing either four or six students, depending on living space – were originally designed and used as student rooms.

To transition the dayrooms back into dorm rooms, furniture was laid out to establish the divisions, and the students receive special armoires that help section off the living and sleeping areas.

Rames and Wermedal said the dayroom living quarters will not be uncomfortable or compromised.

The dayrooms that are being used as living spaces are the ones that have been most recently remodeled during the school’s effort to update the dayrooms in the last five or six years.

The former community space also has many amenities that typical dorm rooms do not, such as carpeting and a larger living space.

“I don’t want people to think we’re just shoving students in corners, because that’s not what we’re doing,” said Rames. “The space we’re providing, because we renovated it, in some ways has amenities that other spaces don’t have.

“I think in the end, everyone gets something they’re a little excited about.”

Eric Hanson, vice president of the Students’ Association, agreed. He said the dayrooms have been used as dorm rooms before, and many universities use their dayrooms when housing runs short.

Hanson also said that concerns about privacy and roommate problems should not be any worse than in a regular dorm room.

“When you’re sharing an area, concerns can pop up,” he said. “The Community Assistants will work hard to diffuse these problems before they happen.”

Another concern for students in the residence halls is the loss of a place to study or work on projects as a group. Rames and Wermedal said in the last few years, Residential Life has worked to offer several alternative study areas for students. They can utilize places like Late Night Larsons, the Hobo Hangout or even The Union. Rames said The Union is looking to expand its hours to meet the demand that was growing even before the loss of the dayroom space.

Both Rames and Wermedal said this is all just part of a transition to have students see the whole campus as their home. For example, the residence halls are the sleeping areas, the library is the study area and the new Wellness Center is the play area.

“We realize it’s a transition, but it’s one well planned for ?,” said Wermedal.