September 10, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 7  

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Residence rebuttal

Re: "Housing's zany lie of omission," Sep.5

To the Editor:
I would like to address the recent editorial suggesting Housing deliberately covered up information surrounding the use of triple rooms in residence. While the editorial offices of The Gazette may have been surprised at this information, I can assure you residents' council presidents, parents and most importantly incoming students were made aware of this information earlier this year.

In fact, the Jan. 24 meeting minutes of the Housing Communica-tions Committee clearly state a discussion regarding possible charges for triple rooms took place. "We will be making some rooms in Delaware into triples. Any feedback on what we would charge for these room occupants?" is a direct quote from these minutes.

On Feb. 13 and Mar. 25, at meetings of the University Committee on Student Housing, UCOSH Chair Chris Bumbacco, who is also assistant director of housing facilities, repeatedly raised the issue of ordering furniture for converted triple rooms at Delaware Hall. At the same time, he welcomed input from council presidents about the pricing for these rooms.

When residence offers were mailed with academic offers throughout the spring, students were given an option to select placement in triple-room accommodation at a reduced rate (with no guarantees of final assignment). Nearly 20 per cent, or 860 students, chose a triple room as their first or second choice of residence placement. In addition, incoming students and their parents were provided with a handout at Summer Academic Orientation describing triple-room accommodation as a possible residence assignment.

While we recognize the importance of the residence experience for first-year students, we stood by our residence guarantee to house any eligible students who wished to live on campus in light of the increased cohort. As such with the addition of 445 beds in Perth Hall, our newest residence, some triple rooms were created and enabled us to offer enough residence spaces to meet demand.

It should be emphasized Housing is not making any additional money on these extra spaces. The costs for triple rooms are based on a double-room rate (plus a standard increase in utility use for one extra person) divided three ways. I am also pleased to add that guests who chose to view a triple room in Delaware this past August were pleasantly surprised with the room layout and the quality of the new furnishings.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide this additional information. As has been Housing's practice over the years, we will continue to take students' input into consideration and be up-front in our dealings with them, their parents and the university community.

Peggy Wakabayashi
Director of Residences



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