Erin Bailey was excited for her freshman move in at Belmont in the fall of 2017, but the experience was tainted by the fact that she had to move into a forced triple dorm room.
“Moving in had an air of excitement, but it gradually got worse throughout the year,” Bailey said. “We were in each other’s space constantly. There was no room for anything.”
Bailey spent her freshman year in a forced triple — a dorm arrangement where three people live in a room designed and sized for two.
Now — thanks in part to new residential facilities — Belmont has done away with that living arrangement.
“It was a major institutional priority to move away from triples and commit to the student’s residential experience,” said John Delony, Belmont’s new associate provost and dean of students.
While there are still some freshmen living in natural triples — which cost less per semester than doubles and are designed for three residents — students will no longer have to worry about fitting three people into small rooms.
“There’s nothing wrong with a natural triple ‒ I’ve seen one and you have plenty of space. But in a forced triple you’re literally forced on top of each other,” Bailey said. “Forced triples really aren’t fair.”
Bailey had been planning to live with a friend from high school, so she was surprised when she saw her official housing sheet, which included her friend’s name along with a name she had never seen before.
“I’m a patient person, so I made it work fairly easily,” Bailey said. “But that’s the problem ‒ I shouldn’t have to just make it work.”
Belmont sophomore Maddie Spears also lived in a forced triple last year. This made it a little harder for her to successfully transition into college life, especially because she had never shared a room with anyone before, she said.
“To share with two people was a completely different life,” she said. “But, other than feeling completely cramped all the time, it wasn’t too bad.”
Luckily, current and future students will not have to worry about this living arrangement for some time to come.
As Belmont continues to grow, triples may need to eventually be reinstated. However, administration has discussed different options to avoid this ‒ including potentially turning two-bedroom apartments into spaces for four people.
“Belmont continues to invest in the residential experience and the quality of it. It’s easy for other colleges to cut corners in that respect, but Belmont says no to that,” Delony said.
Photo rendering from Belmont University website