By Emily Rosenberg
This upcoming room selection, Residence Life will offer a new dorm option to provide students who prefer a double-as-a-single room called “Premium Singles,” according to Glenn Cochran, associate dean of students and student life.
Premium singles are double-as-a-single rooms, with some of the furniture which would be there for a roommate removed to provide the student with more living space. They also add a cushioned sitting area with a couch or chair.
The cost of a premium single will be $1,500 more per semester than that of a current double room in a given residence hall. The cost of a room varies per residence hall.
Cochran said Residence Life is expecting to offer up to 300 premium singles in Miles Bibb, Towers, and West halls.
He added the option will be open to students on a first-come, first-serve basis regardless of their class standing.
Cochran said the idea to create the new premium singles is based on the increase of demand for doubles-as-singles in the past couple of years since the pandemic.
He added the plan for premium singles is also compatible with the decreasing number of residence students and lower enrollment.
“We don't have the need for as many beds as we have on campus. … So instead of just having them and insisting that they stay exactly the same, what can we do with them that students would like better?” Cochran asked.
“That’s the idea that really drove us. So we’re excited. This is something really new for us,” he said.
Cochran said the program is “self sufficient” and helps keep housing affordable for all students as Residence Life must cover all of its costs. “Our options are really increased costs across everybody or do some creative things. So this way, if there are people that want something premium and pay a little bit more for it, that helps us offset other revenue.”
He said premium singles have also been introduced at other colleges.
Cochran added Residence Life staff were hearing feedback from students that those with doubles-as-singles enjoyed the extra furniture and arranged it differently to their liking, but did not like certain aspects of the room.
For example, he said some students may push the two beds together, but don’t like the gap created in between the two beds. On the other hand, some prefer the extra wardrobes and desk drawers, but did not feel the need for the extra bed.
Residence Life is offering tours of four showrooms in Towers Hall open to all students with no appointment needed until Feb. 10.
One showroom displays a full-sized bed with two dressers, a cushioned chair, and a desk. Another showroom offers a twin-XL bed with two wardrobes, a couch, and a desk.
There is also a showroom with a full-sized bed, two cabinets, two wardrobes, a desk, and a cushioned chair.
Then there is another showroom which offers a twin-XL-sized bed with a cabinet, a wardrobe, one cushioned chair, and desk.
Cochran said, in order to decide what will officially be included in the rooms, Residence Life is conducting a survey via Qualtrics which is offered at the end of the tour and also available through an email link sent by the Dean of Students in case students miss it at the end of their tour.
Cochran said after receiving feedback from the student survey, Residence Life will finalize a room layout for the premium singles to be used throughout all the buildings. For example, if the majority of students respond they prefer full-sized beds, all premium singles will offer full-sized beds.
He added Residence Life replaces a certain amount of beds and furniture every academic year, so there will not be an additional cost to transform the double rooms into premium singles.
On the other hand, he said if in the next few years, enrollment were to significantly increase and the number of residence students were to rise, the department would have no issue reverting premium singles back to double rooms.
Leticia Rita Santos, an American Sign Language major said, “I think it's a great opportunity to start branching out and give the students different options for configuring their rooms, especially when people are rooming” on their own.
She added she liked the idea of being given the option of a chair or a couch as it is new and she thinks it is something incoming students will also find attractive.
Mike Rosso, a history major, said, “It's a good idea because there's some people who definitely like their own space. So it's definitely good for those people and for anyone who maybe had a poor roommate experience.”
He added he could “definitely” imagine himself looking into exploring the option of a premium single as he enjoys his personal space.
Andrew Thompson, a hospitality major, said regarding the differing room options that he prefers one with a full-sized bed. He said from the perspective of someone choosing the room, he could see one full-sized bed seeming more attractive than two twin-XL beds pushed together.
He added it makes sense for Residence Life to offer the rooms at the same price as a double-as-a-single because sometimes students might pick a double room hoping they don’t have a roommate, then end up with extra furniture. Or, on the flip side, they pay extra for a double-as-a-single but do not want or need the extra furniture.
“It's something cool. It's something that I think offers a new setup,” Thompson said.