Is PLNU Becoming Overpopulated?

As the 2022-2023 school year kicks off at Point Loma Nazarene University, some first-year students are frustrated with their living arrangements.

This year there are a large number of students in the first-year class. So much so that some of these students are living in rooms, built for two, with three people, making everyday life confined and uncomfortable. 

First year pre-nursing major Irana Zreik is one the students affected by the new arrangement.

“My dorm is a two person dorm with three people in it and because of this we have an extra bed, dresser, and desk,” said Zreik. “It’s a lot more cramped and not very spacious. One dresser is a lot tinier than the other two and the two beds that are lofted/bunked are very high up to the ceilings and don’t offer a lot of room. It’s very claustrophobic in the dorm.” 

Due to these changes, individuals living in these tight spaces are being given a discount on their housing costs. 

“Everyone in a triple, built as a double, has a 20% reduction in their room charge,” Zreik said.

Zreik feels that PLNU did everything they could to accommodate the overflow of students.

“Honestly I don’t know what else they could have done. They want to admit more freshmen, but don’t have enough room to house them. They could allow more freshmen to commute if they live close,” Zreik said. 

First-year graphic design and marketing major Lauren Saalberg was eager to get her opinion out as she has also been affected by this. 

“My living arrangement is different from others on campus this year because our dorm room is in a converted utility closet which causes it to be very loud at night, especially if you are trying to go to bed early, with the constant music playing in the lounge or feeling cabinets slam against the wall my bed is up against,” Saalberg said. 

Saalberg also feels that her and her roommates were less prepared than people living in ‘normal’ dorms. 

“We don’t have all the built-ins everyone else has in the dorm so we had to buy lots of bins and shelves to be able to store all of our belongings,” Saalberg said. 

Along with having to purchase storage space for her room, Saalberg also has to share a five person bathroom with a much larger number of people than usual. 

“We only have five showers for a hall of almost forty girls because one of our bathrooms was converted into a quad. I think the extremely large freshman class size will also create issues when it comes to parking on campus next year,” Saalberg said.

Although these individuals are living in unexpected conditions, the assistant director of Student Housing, Amy Dickerson, explained how a housing plan for a vast class size has been in the works for years.

“We currently have 652 first year students living in the freshman halls (Hendricks, Klassen, and Nease). The layouts that were used to accommodate these students were not new to this year, but we did have to employ our overflow options as we have in the past.” Dickerson said.

She also explained which rooms have been changed in order to contain the large class. 

“Additionally, we have utilized three of the lounges in Hendricks and Klassen on the second floors, two in Hendricks and one in Klassen that were modified and prepared a number of years ago to be utilized as a four-person space, if needed,” Dickerson said. 

Although these living arrangements weren’t anticipated by the freshmen class, it seems that the housing department has had this overflow plan for quite some time. The preparedness that PLNU had for such a large class size, along with the 20% discount on housing for those affected, shows that the housing department has made efforts to compensate the individuals living in the adjusted spaces.