USC may house spring admits in lounges

First-year residents halls such as Pardee Tower, typically feature study lounges for residents. (Sinead Chang | Daily Trojan)

Some students admitted for Spring 2019 may be housed inside renovated study lounges due to a lack of available freshman housing space, according to USC Housing.

In a statement to the Daily Trojan, Housing Director Gregory Schaffer said that the high volume of students entering USC has led to a decreased availability in housing for students.

“Due to [the] unprecedented level of students committing to USC, USC Housing is working to accommodate as many students on campus as possible for the spring semester,” Schaffer said.

He further addressed in a second statement that lounges will be converted into housing spaces.

“We are making alterations to some lounges in case they are needed,” Schaffer said.

Most spring admits learned about the changes from spring admit ambassador Ariana Kim through a post in the USCSpringAdmits2019 Facebook group.

“The majority of the lounge spaces will be in freshman buildings and will be completely transformed into dorm rooms,” Kim wrote in the USC Spring Admits group. “These transformed spaces will have beds, desks, dressers, wardrobes, cable and internet and micro fridge/microwave.”

Trinity Anthony, a 2019 spring admit, said that the Facebook post was the only communication she received about her housing situation.

“We were all kind of thrown off by it because we weren’t informed of it all, and we were trying to figure out how the fall freshmen knew this before we did,” Anthony said. “I took it upon myself to email housing and ask them about it, and [USC Housing] confirmed it.”

Students typically do not learn of their living situation until early December when housing assignments are released, according to the USC Housing site.

Isabel Washington, one of the spring admits who said she contacted USC, said that some students she has spoken to have “been on edge,” due to the uncertainty.

“If it’s just one person living in a study room that submitted their application yesterday, that’s different than half of the spring admits having to live in a study room,” she said.

Washington also said that some current freshmen are concerned about how this might affect study lounge use.

Shannon Sinwell, a junior majoring in philosophy, politics and law and a 2017 spring admit, said that not enough information is communicated to spring admits before they arrive on campus.

“Speaking from my experience, I feel like I had to constantly be reaching out to a spring admit representative and asking them questions,” Sinwell said. “I wish we all could’ve been put on the same email list and just all be given the same amount of information at the same time.”

Sinwell studied abroad during the fall semester before coming to USC, and had to sign a lease at University Gateway Apartments because there weren’t enough on-campus housing options for spring admits.

Anthony said that being able to live on-campus was a large factor in her decision to attend USC. Now that she may have to move off campus to avoid living in a converted study lounge, she said she may regret her decision.

“I feel like with a lot of stuff, [USC Housing] waits until the last minute to tell us, when instead they can just be upfront, ” Anthony said. “Why did [the University] have to wait until two months after we submitted our housing applications to say something?”