New Single Rooms at Loeb
Starting this fall, The New School will launch a “pilot project,” in which the entire 11th floor of Loeb Hall, the university’s East Village dorm, will be converted to single rooms. The plan is an effort to counteract the low rate of students who stay in university housing. The current retention rate stands between 25 percent and 30 percent, according to New School housing records. By adding more single rooms, The New School hopes to curb the number of students who choose to leave the dorms.
“We know that returning residents strongly prefer single rooms,” said Rob Lutomski, director of student housing and residence life. “Many of those who don’t acquire those during room lottery look for apartments instead. Thus, we decided to offer our students more single room options in the Village area.”
The change was possible due to New School Student Health Services moving out of Loeb Hall to its new location at 80 Fifth Ave. Space on the second floor vacated by Student Health Services will now be converted into double and single rooms. The move allowed housing to convert all doubles on the 11th floor into singles without losing bed space, creating nine new single rooms in total. All of the new singles were filled after the Spring 2011 housing lottery.
The housing office realized that singles were generally the first to go during the annual housing lottery. They hope the appeal of single rooms is significant enough to keep students in dorms. Lutomski said the new single rooms will be more expensive than existing singles at Loeb since they have more square footage.
New freshmen and transfer students don’t have the option of picking the new rooms. They may, however, request to be transferred to one of the singles next semester if any become available due to a room cancellation.
Allyson Dwyer, a Lang junior, is just one of many students who have abandoned university housing. She shared a double at Loeb as a freshman until her roommate moved out mid-year. Living alone, Dwyer said, was much more preferable to sharing a room.
“It was a million times better,” she said. “I didn’t have to worry about how messy I was being or how loud my music was.”
Yet some students have more positive experiences in the dorms and choose to return. Parsons sophomore Alfred Lam has lived in New School housing for two years and plans to return next year.
“It’s convenient and close to school,” Lam said. “The area’s nice. People complain about Loeb, but it’s good enough for me.”