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Student groups face shortage of beds for Reunions

Some student groups have been allocated fewer beds for Reunions than expected this year. The Alumni Association said that beds for student interim housing have been allocated to all student groups who will be participating.

“It wasn’t really an issue we thought we had to worry about, so it’s pretty frustrating right now trying to work around it,” said Charlie Wu ’16, a member of the Princeton Roaring 20 a cappella group.

Mibs Southerland Mara, the associate director for Reunions, said the University has to look at each group and carefully consider the allocation of beds depending on the circumstances. She explained that this allotment can shift when there are additional groups that request housing or groups that need extra beds. The University cannot promise the same number of beds every year, she noted, as its priority is the alumni who are returning as well as the senior class.

“There are times when it depends on how many athletic teams are on campus and the size of the senior class,” Southerland Mara said. “Over the last 3 years the senior class has grown quite a bit.”

Southerland Mara noted that, of all the beds on campus, half is for Reunions workers and entertainers, students who are receiving student interim housing, athletes and seniors. The other half, she said, is for alumni who are returning to campus.

Students are assigned a task during Reunions in exchange for interim housing, and fewer beds will be assigned to a given student group the following year if a student in that group fails to complete the task. Southerland Mara noted that the Alumni Association did not dock any of the student groups this year for this reason.

Southerland Mara said duplicate names in interim housing is one of the causes of bed shortages. She noted that students often do not realize they are on more than one group’s list.

“Student groups need to keep in mind that we will do our best to allocate additional beds as they become available,” she said. “Housing is a huge puzzle. A lot of things shift, especially in the next few months as we enter Reunions.”

Like the Roaring 20, the Princeton Nassoons a cappella group are also facing a shortage of beds. Yacob Yonas ’15, the president of the a cappella group, noted that the Nassoons got six beds last year and five beds this year, even though they needed 12 both years.

“We’ll work it out, but it is a little tough, especially when your group has over 12 people and you have five beds,” Rachel Klebanov ’16, president of the Princeton University Wildcats a cappella group, said.

Klebanov is also an Intersections writer.

However, some groups, such as diSiac Dance Company, were allocated more beds than they were last year.

Allison Metts ’15, the president of diSiac, noted that the group was given six beds this year, four more than last year when they received two beds. She added, however, that this number still does not accommodate all 40 dancers in the company.

“It’s a struggle because dancers don’t really want to stay on campus if they’re not going to have a place to sleep for sure. It’s hard trying to convince people,” she said.

Metts is a former associate design editor for The Daily Princetonian.

Southerland Mara declined to disclose the total number of beds given last year and this year, but noted that the numbers are very similar.

Reunions will take place from May 29 to June 1.

Correction: Due an editing error, an earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Mibs Southerland Mara as a Princeton alumna. She is an honorary member of the class of 1962. Due to a reporting error, an earlier version of this article misstated a quotation by Southerland Mara. She has seen the senior class grow significantly for the past three years. The ‘Prince’ regrets the errors. 

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