The long-anticipated annual housing email, which explains the housing availability and information for the following school year, revealed a big announcement to Point Loma Nazarene University students on Feb. 16; Finch and Wiley Residence Halls will become triple dorms in the 2023-24 school year. The housing application closed on March 15.
The news was sent via email by assistant director of housing and residential director of Finch Residence Hall Amy Dickerson: “In planning to meet the anticipated needs of our 2023-24 student body … it has been decided that Finch and Wiley will house sophomore, junior and senior students in predominantly triple spaces. With this change, we would highly encourage returning students to consider a triple configuration in planning for roommate groups for next year.”
On Feb. 27, The Point interviewed Dickerson and Jake Gilbertson, dean of students, to discuss housing questions and concerns.
“More and more sophomores, juniors, seniors and transfers are saying they need to live on campus,” said Gilbertson. “We knew students would be less than happy about this choice, but it feels like the best choice. With multiple bad options, it’s the least bad option.”
On average, Finch and Wiley’s dorms are 208 square feet, and a triple in Goodwin is 198 square feet, ten feet smaller than Finch and Wiley, which have historically been double rooms. This year, a few dorms in Finch have been converted to triples.
“We know now after this year that we can do it with the right configuration of furniture. It really came down to [the university] needing more beds,” said Gilbertson.
The buildings and rooms were inspected and fire codes and standards are being upheld. New beds, desks, dressers and wardrobes have been ordered to fulfill this change. Also, one resident assistant (RA) will be added to each hall, making the student-to-RA ratio 28:1.
“One challenge in triples is it creates an inequity in what you have,” said Gilbertson. “Not all of the furniture will be the same, the hope is that we can help facilitate conversations that allow roommates to do that in a mindful way so one roommate isn’t getting the worst desk, drawers, closet and bed.”
To offer as much on-campus housing as possible, in the past first-year dorms have been converted to triples and study rooms converted to quad rooms. A housing discount was offered to students living in those rooms.
“Students in Finch and Wiley will not get a discount on housing, partially because when the analysis of the square footage it actually larger than our current triple spaces, and it felt funky to triple Finch and Wiley and give a discount for those when people in Goodwin 50 feet away are paying full price for a triple there,” said Gilbertson.
Students have shared concerns about this change on social media; an example of this can be found on the infamous meme Instagram account, @loma.memes, which is not affiliated with the university. Comments on this post show complaints and concerns regarding the new housing situation in Wiley and Finch.
“We certainly recognize triples in Finch and Wiley are not ideal for students,” said Gilbertson. “That being said, we are at a place where a real solution to our housing crisis isn’t coming for five-plus years. One of our real limitations is around housing and the availability and feasibility of accumulating and getting more housing.”
Over the summer, Dickerson received several phone calls from concerned parents and students not being able to afford off-campus housing.
“It came down to pushing more students into a less preferred option of living, or pushing more students off campus and hope they can figure it out and hope they can stay a student here at Point Loma,” said Gilbertson. “It is not an ideal solution, but it feels better than a junior or senior who’s trying to finish their education here at Point Loma being told to figure something out when quite frankly their family cannot make that work.”
For any housing questions or concerns, Dickerson suggested reaching out to her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written By: Becky Rookard