The college has plenty of room to house students. In recent years however, single rooms have been gaining popularity.
When asked about the alleged difficulties meeting first-year requests for single rooms, Assistant Director of Residential Life for Housing, Debra Barrett confidently rejected this statement and said, “Yes, historically, single rooms are popular, but we are very confident we will meet every student’s request by the time they move in next year.” Singles are usually meant for students who have certain disabilities, but some individuals persist anyways because they feel they’d be more comfortable without a roommate.
Barrett said that although the Residential Life Office tries to accommodate all requests, Keene State is about fostering a friendly and open community. For first-years and sophomores that are required to live on campus, the Residential Life Office encourages rooming with someone, even if it’s random. “We like them to have that experience; it builds a community and helps kids grow,” she said.
Despite their success, single room requests have been becoming a trend. “It’s becoming more common, even with other college campuses,” Barrett said. She reinforced the fact that Keene State promotes that students should learn to live with each other.
According to a report by the Keene Sentinel released in 2015, Keene State College enrollment has decreased the past few years. The 2015 article reports, “The college’s fall enrollment is lower than it’s been in more than a decade. Applications were down, too — by about 12 percent.” This could be the result of a variety of factors, such as a low population of New England high school kids and the choice by more students to attend colleges closer to home.
Barrett said she has only been in her position for two years, therefore she has not noted any trends in enrollment; however, she admitted that meeting housing requirements has not been an issue while she’s been working here. Even with the first-year dorm Monadnock Hall closing down and becoming a housing residence for greek life members next year, no new students will be crowding into triples. Barrett referred to the Living Learning Commons dorms when she said, “With the new residence halls, we feel comfortable that we will be able to place our first-years.”
Barrett also added if an individual requests a single and did not get one, they’ll be put on a waitlist through the summer and results may not come back until the middle of July. Despite how stressful that may seem, Barrett said she assures students, “We have a very high success rate — we cannot guarantee students will get exactly what they want, but we work very hard in getting students in their preferred housing situations.”
KSC sophomore Lisa Shea said she was ecstatic when she and her friends were placed in Butler for next fall. “I’ll be a junior, but all my friends will be sophomores. I’m so happy we got the spot; Butler is known to go fast,” she said.
Some residential halls have a better reputation than others. KSC first-year Mary-Kate Cavanaugh said, “Butler and the Pondsides are the upperclass dorms that will be first to go — not so much the Owls Nests.”
However, Barrett affirmed there are always people willing to reserve a spot there.
Sophomore housing requests are open on the Keene State College website for those who know where they’d like to live next year. To ensure that you and your friends will get a spot, stop by the Residential Life Office on campus and ask the housing staff what you can do to get your preferred placement.
Katie Jensen can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org