Towers residents placed in temporary rooms

Kaye Burnet | Staff Writer
A look into a student’s temporary housing in Towers LLC. A few students had to live in kitchenettes while more permanent solutions were being made for them.

Kaye Burnet | Staff Writer

Unlike most Duquesne Towers residents, Cody Collins has a double sink in his room.

“It definitely wasn’t what I expected [when I moved in],” he said with a laugh.

Collins, a Duquesne football player and graduate student in the business school, is temporarily living in a kitchenette on the fifth floor of the Duquesne Towers Living Learning Center.

“Honestly, I’m just happy to be here [at Duquesne],” Collins said. “I can’t really complain.”

Collins, who completed his undergraduate degree at Marshall University, was a late addition to the Duquesne football team roster this year. He’s staying in the kitchenette until Saturday, when he’ll be moving to an apartment off-campus.

For transfer students or students who are late admissions, temporary housing is often part of the move-in process at Duquesne. In the past, students have spent short stays in Assumption Hall lounges, Towers kitchenettes, or “forced triples” and “forced quads;” the terms students use for rooms with three or four students squeezed inside. Usually, these living arrangements don’t last long, according to Dan Cangilla, the assistant director of Residence Life.

“This year, the majority of students in temporary housing were relocated before the start of classes,” Cangilla explained.

Phil Vandegrift was one of those students re-housed during freshmen orientation week. A freshman education major, Vandegrift shared a Towers kitchenette with a roommate for the first night of orientation week.

Vandegrift, from Butler county, originally planned to attend the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, but made a last-minute switch to Duquesne, where his older sister is already a student. Since he didn’t submit his paperwork to Duquesne until August, he knew he would be staying in temporary housing initially.

“I only moved some of my stuff [into the kitchenette] because I knew it was going to be temporary,” Vandegrift explained. He was moved onto the second floor of Assumption Hall the next day when an open room was found.

Vandegrift had a few words of advice for any other students who might find themselves in unorthodox campus housing.

“Be patient,” Vandegrift said. “Residence Life is doing what they can.”

For sophomore multiplatform journalism major Cameron Key, temporary housing came as more of a surprise. As a late-to-enroll transfer student from Edinborough, Key thought he might be placed in temporary housing, so he called the Office of Residence Life a few days before move-in.

“And the lady I talked to told me ‘We found permanent housing for you!’ so that’s what I was expecting,” he explained.

However, when he arrived on Tuesday, Aug. 15 for move-in, there was no room key available for him. Key said Towers Resident Director Anthony Kane told him the key was still being made.

“At this point, I still thought I was going to have a real room,” Key said, “But then I got off the elevator [in Towers] on my floor, and I saw the sign said ‘kitchenette.’”

The room had two beds crammed inside, with less than three feet of space between them and a set a drawers under each bed. Key shared the space with a roommate for a day and a half before being moved to permanent housing. Throughout the experience, he kept a cheery outlook.

“I was just grateful to be accepted [to Duquesne] and to have the scholarship that I have,” Key said. “I’m a positive person. I thought it was funny, actually, but I could tell it wasn’t going to be funny if I was still there when classes started. I like to study in my room, and that just wasn’t possible.”

But now, Key says, he has a funny story to tell.

“I would tell people about my room, and they would say, ‘Wow that’s so cool, you have a kitchenette!’ and I’d be like, ‘No, my room IS a kitchenette!’” Key said, laughing.

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