Though there will be more beds than usual available for annexed students on Old Campus next year, Dean of Administrative Affairs John Meeske is scrambling to find more room for rising Saybrook College juniors.
Meeske said Saybrook Dean Paul McKinley had not initially asked for any annex space on Old Campus, but now anticipates his college will need 30 more spaces.
“So many more seniors moved back on campus,” Meeske said, “the dean wrote to me and said it’s looking like a bad situation.”
With Ezra Stiles, Morse and Berkeley College freshmen living in Swing Space, Meeske had thought there would be accommodations for all annexed students on Old Campus. He said no students have ever been forced off campus and they will not be forced off this year.
“The year admissions took in almost 100 more freshmen than we expected, we actually moved one group to the Taft,” Meeske said. “Only two students. That was the closest we ever came.”
Meeske said the situation is still fluid because not all of the colleges have completed their room draws.
Meeske also said the number of people housed in certain suites is flexible, so some freshmen suites that held three people this year may hold four next year, for example, in order to make room for annexed Saybrook students.
There also may be room in various places on Old Campus, Meeske said, but it is unlikely that all annexed Saybrook students will be housed in the same place.
“It does seem like Branford [College] will not need as much as they needed last year; therefore, we will have a little bit of extra space in McClellan [Hall] but still not enough to meet increased demand from other colleges,” Meeske said. “I do have a couple of things I haven’t assigned yet, like in Lawrance [Hall], so there are a couple of possibilities.”
In an e-mail to Saybrook rising juniors, McKinley told students it would be impossible to know if there would be enough housing until after the draw, but stressed that the college has always found rooms for students. Even with a surge in demand to move into the newly renovated college this year, he said, Saybrook was able to accommodate everyone with only a few students living in Branford and Lanman-Wright Hall.
“The junior class is always the smallest class housed in the college,” McKinley said in the e-mail. “Juniors often move off campus because it’s the first time they can. And many of them take a junior term or year abroad, or they take a leave of absence to comply with acceleration regulations. In general, the juniors’ on-campus presence shrinks significantly until senior year, when senior pick entices many Saybrugians back to the college.”
Saybrook student Marissa Ain ’04 said she has faith that McKinley has something up his sleeve, but she is still worried.
“Pretty much everyone I know is in a total panic,” Ain said. “I didn’t realize it was going to end up like this and our suite just wants to stay together — we don’t feel that’s too much to ask.”
Christina Merola ’04 said the whole process is a problem because it often leads to suites getting broken up. She said she hopes to hear about annex housing soon.
“People are anxious to hear about annex housing,” Merola said. “We want to be assured that there’s space on Old Campus.”