Throughout its history Claremont McKenna College has gradually been increasing its enrollment toward its current population of 1300. At times, this increase causes problems with the number of beds available on campus, and results in a housing crunch. Part of the reason this happens is that enrollment is increased gradually; instead of increasing the freshmen class by 90 people in one year, which would cause a strain on many campus resources and swell class sizes, each year enrollment is increased by a small number. The housing crunch that occasionally results can be resolved via fluctuations in the number of students needing on-campus housing, whether that is due to an increase in the number of students studying abroad, voluntarily living off campus, a decrease in the incoming class, or the periodic construction of new halls and additions to current halls which are part of the plan for the development of the campus.
The construction projects currently in the works include the addition to Beckett and the renovations to Benson and Marks, which will all be done in time for next school year. Furthermore the bridge between Berger and Benson will add many more rooms, though this will not be done until Fall 2015. Once the project is completed, the room crunch is expected to be completely erased.
During the transition, however, some incoming freshmen will live in triples, as will several students who either retained in their triples from the 2013-2014 year, or chose to draw in to a triple for the 2014-2015 year. Currently there are 35 triple rooms on campus, out of which 3 are permanent. The DOS office currently projects having roughly 45 triple rooms next year, but that number will depend on the incoming class, which will be finalized in the coming days.
“When we learned last spring of the unusually high yield and size of the incoming first-year class, we had to identify the available double rooms that were optimal for housing three students and convert them into triple rooms,” Dean of Residential Life, Eric Vos, explained, “we identified rooms to become triple rooms in advance of room draw that would better accommodate three students.”
In order to plan out triple rooms for next year, the administration sent out a survey to all students currently living in triples to gauge how the year went for them.
“We learned some important things from the survey. Some rooms were less optimal than other rooms as triples. We were aware of these students’ experiences before we conducted the survey and planned strategically in re-designating rooms as triples for next year. We intend to apply some other things we learned in terms of furniture setup and Ethernet wiring for next year’s residents of triple rooms,” Vos mentioned.
In addition, DOS is currently in the process of hiring two new staff members who will live the Auen and Fawcett apartments starting this summer. Currently students have the opportunity to live in those two apartments.
While some students have expressed doubt regarding the necessity of such move, DOS considered the new hires’ on-campus residency crucial.
“The Auen and Fawcett apartments were staff apartments up until a few years ago.” Vos explained. “The Assistant Director positions were designed to respond to student requests for additional support from DOS. As such, the new Assistant Directors will be expected to provide support to weekend events, support and advise campus groups, be a more immediate resource to students and RAs, and it is part of their job to live on campus.”