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Cramped, but cozy

Lander and Terry halls are known to be the most popular residence halls for incoming freshmen, but Housing & Food Services (HFS) has been struggling to find space for the class of 2015, the largest group of incoming freshmen ever.

Last year, there were 624 students in Terry Hall, but this year there are 846 students, with additional space created when HFS converted many of the double rooms into triples.

Every year, HFS has the task of accommodating a high demand for on-campus housing.

“At the beginning of every school year, we know we’re going to be full,” HFS Communications Manager David Rey said. “[But] students have been getting better at applying for housing as soon as they can.”

The priority application deadline for all incoming freshman to be guarenteed housing was June 1. For returning residents, it was April 1. Anyone who applies after the priority deadline faces the risk of not getting a room assignment.

On July 7, there were 445 students on the waiting list for rooms with an additional 123 students in temporary housing. There were 49 students on the waiting list yesterday.

“We do our best to communicate to our students whether we think they’re going to be assigned or not,” JoAnna Olson, HFS student and desk services administrator, said.

As of yesterday, there were 71 students living in temporary housing in Lander and Hansee, but Olson said everyone should be in permanent housing by winter quarter. Students pay $1,176 per quarter to live in a lounge, as opposed to $1,680 for a double room or $1,346 for a triple.

Freshman Molly Moen decided to drop out of sorority recruitment and move into the residence halls instead. She’s been placed in temporary housing in a Lander Hall lounge with eight other girls until a spot opens up.

“It’s often kind of loud, and we can’t really sleep in the room or study,” Moen said. “But I like that there’s a lot of different people so there’s always someone to talk to. It’s more likely that you’re going to find someone you can connect with.”

Although living in a lounge sounded horrible to freshman Ekaterina Nazarova at first, she, like Moen, found positives in the experience.

“In a week or two it got a lot better,” Nazarova said. “We have TV, and we have Wi-Fi, which is really nice because we don’t need the Ethernet cables. I still want my own room, though.”

To some students, it’s not the matter of being assigned a room, but getting the dorm life they asked for.

“I was pretty bummed that I was put in a triple, but I found out that most people were going to live in a triple, so I had to accept it,” freshman Rene Johnson said.

Johnson planned to live in a double dorm with her high-school friend Ammy Huynh, but later found out they had been assigned to a triple in Terry. Huynh also felt it was unfair, since she and Johnson applied as soon as the priority deadlines opened up.

After living in Terry with their third roommate, Huynh and Johnson began to “just have fun and enjoy college life.”

“I think it’s fun having two other people in the room. It’s not cramped at all,” Johnson said. “It helped with meeting more people, because she has her friends and I have my friends, and we can meet different people.”

Huynh worried the hall will be more crowded during midterm and finals weeks because more people will want to study in their rooms, but she is currently content and thankful for her dorm.

“We’ve been working to accommodate the demand for the past couple of years,” Rey said. “As long as the university stays strong and popular, we expect to have a strong demand for housing.”

Reach reporter Joon Yi at news@dailyuw.com.

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