For predental freshman Alex Durkin, living with a resident assistant wasn’t the way he envisioned his start to college, but it was the reality.
“It was, in a way, kind of frustrating,” Durkin said. “I didn’t have anything (in the room) where I could get organized (but) it wasn’t the worst thing ever. I was able to handle it.”
As of Aug. 30, 102 students were in transitional housing with RAs and Office of Cultural and Academic Transitions, or OCAT, aides, Director of Campus Living Services and Residence Life Kathy Collins said in a previous interview.
But as of last Friday, all temporary roommates for RAs, including Durkin, have been moved to permanent housing elsewhere, Mackenzie Fritz, associate director of residence education for Residence Education and Housing Services said in an email.
“By housing students with RAs and OCAT aides temporarily, 900 students were prevented from being placed in transitional housing (and) that is substantial,” Fritz said. “While it was not the most comfortable situation for RAs and OCAT aides or their roommates, for the most part, everyone was patient and cooperative.”
In a previous interview, Collins said transitional housing became necessary due to a large freshman class, upperclassmen returning to campus housing and continuing renovations in Brody Complex Neighborhood that closed several residence halls.
“It was (Residence Education and Housing Services) dealing with a tough situation,” said Emily Kasper, McDonel Hall RA and human resource management junior. “A lot of people were mad … They shouldn’t have overloaded (the freshman class) to begin with.”
Kasper said although communication could have been better when it came to planning this form of transitional housing, she said she was happily surprised by how early RAs and OCAT aides were able to reclaim their single rooms.
Fritz said as of last week, there are 262 transitional rooms left in which three students live together in a two-person room.
She said 11 of these rooms have occupants that have requested to make their transitional housing their permanent housing situation. She said this time last year 337 rooms were still transitional housing situations.
Fritz was unable to provide an end date for all transitional housing, but the Housing Assignments Office is working on it.
Durkin, who lived with an RA in South Case Hall, said in the future he felt it would be better to house transitional students with other students rather than RAs because it can limit a freshman’s ability to make friends.
Fritz said although she cannot see a future need for transitional housing with RAs and OCAT aides, it will be considered a viable option if the need were to arise.
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