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Residence Halls Near Maximum Capacity For First Time Since Pandemic

Alanna Dimetrius | The PhoenixFor the fall semester, Loyola admitted approximately 750 more freshmen than in previous years, leaving residence halls packed tightly with students.

Loyola is nearing full housing capacity for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, largely due to the increased class size of first year students for the fall semester, according to Melissa Bagdon, the assistant director for assignments at Loyola.

This increased number of students comes one year after the university reopened its residence halls fully in response to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, and two years after the university made the decision to waive the second year residence hall requirement, The Phoenix previously reported.

Ashley Ciss, a first-year student studying neuroscience, was placed in a triple room in Francis Hall, despite rooms in Francis Hall being designed to house two students per room and four students to a bathroom, according to Loyola’s website.

The 2021-22 Official Statistics Report for Loyola stated the school received over 37,000 applications for the fall semester. The university admitted 77% of students, approximately 7% more than the amount admitted in 2020, according to the report. There are also about 750 more incoming first year students this year than in the previous year according to the statistics, leaving Loyola faculty the task of finding space for all of the students to reside.

“I know there are students who were assigned to triples who didn’t request them, but they’ve seemingly been understanding and are making the experience and space work,” Bagdon wrote in her email to The Phoenix.

Bagdon emphasized the fact that triple room assignments haven’t hindered Loyola’s student retention rates.

“Based on previous years, students assigned to triples retained at a slightly higher rate than students assigned to doubles, so overall being assigned to a triple, in and of itself, didn’t impact the student’s experience living on campus or time at Loyola,” Bagdon wrote.

Triple rooms at Loyola are also a less expensive option for students, costing about $1,700 dollars less per semester according to the Loyola residence life website.

Although Ciss said she and her roommates have been getting along fine, she expressed some dislike when it came to the storage situation because there are only four cubbies in the bathroom. Ciss further explained those four cubbies are intended to be shared between the five people who use that bathroom. 

First-year nursing student Sam Gawronski lives on another floor in Francis Hall, along with one of his roommates David Llanes, a first-year history major. The two of them had originally requested a double room, but changed their request to a triple when they received an email from the university explaining that they were going to be close to high capacity for housing, according to Llanes.

Similar to Ciss, Gawronski and Llanes both expressed concerns about not having enough space. 

“I like the people obviously, I would just like the space,” Gawronski said. “I think it is very clear that it is a double, and that they want it to be a triple.”

Though Bagdon had some issues with the influx of students in the dorms, she wrote there are some benefits to the growing population of students.

“We have seen some of the most diverse classes in recent years, which was needed and great to see,” Bagdon wrote. “Seeing the class sizes grow over the years proves to me that students want to be here and be a part of all the great things that Loyola is able to offer.” 

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