Friday, September 23, 2016

There's always room for one more

On move-in day at UCLA, freshman Ashley Sanchez pulled two bins filled with blankets, toiletries, cleaning supplies, snacks, notebooks and her favorite stuffed whale to her new dorm and opened the door. Three beds, three desks and three wardrobes were squeezed into a room that used to house two students. As the last roommate to move in, Sanchez was left with the top bunk in a tight corner with a low ceiling over the right half of the bed. Her mother, Silvia Valladares, surveyed the space with a protective parent’s eye.

“This is a small, little room for three girls,” she fretted. Doubles turned into triples are now the norm at UCLA, which began classes Thursday with 1,000 more registered California students like Sanchez piling onto a campus already packed from years of enrollment growth.

And it’s not the only University of California campus scrambling to make room for the largest influx of new students in decades. Overall, nearly 8,000 more California students committed to a UC campus over last year. The larger class is part of a deal UC President Janet Napolitano made with Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature to enroll 5,000 more California students this year — and 5,000 more the next two years — in exchange for more state money. 

Finding room has strained UC campuses across the state. Some are squishing four students into double rooms, moving students off campus, even leasing beds from other colleges. They are hiring hundreds of new instructors and expanding services, including tutoring and mental health counseling...

Full story at

Cram 'em in:

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