Folks Are Outraged By These University Dorms That Look Like Jail Cells

The cost of going to college has gotten insanely high, but universities have found plenty of other ways to price-gouge students besides tuition. On campus housing is in demand, especially for incoming Freshman who may be living outside their home for the first time. Many want to be near school so they don’t have to figure out how to get to class or rent an apartment in a new town on top of everything else. That puts colleges in a good position to charge way too much for far too little.

Recently, photos at Purdue University showing their “temporary housing” situation raised an outcry. The images show beds and desks lined up in a cavernous office space, sort of in the style of a jail or emergency rescue center. Fluorescent lights beat down from above, and single beds only get privacy from the wall of desks on one side. There are no walls or doors. It’s depressing to say the least.

The images were posted by the Purdue Exponent, the school’s independent newspaper, who wrote in their Instagram caption:

Faced with an excess of admitted students, Purdue University Residences continues to place some students in makeshift rooms in the basements and study lounges of residence halls around campus, like these in Shreve and Meredith residence halls.

Buzzfeed News spoke with Beth McCuskey, the vice provost for student life at Purdue, who said the school had admitted five times more students than anticipated, which led to the housing crisis.

“Every year we arrange for temporary spaces and typically have 100 spaces that are used,” McCuskey said, explaining that a number of students who say they’re coming actually don’t show, so many of the beds are never used. Those who end up in these horrifying auxiliary housing units eventually get reassigned as more traditional dorm spaces open up. McCuskey estimates that usually happens within the first few weeks of class.

“While it’s not ideal … it’s pretty typical to have some model of temporary housing,” McCuskey said. “People won’t show up. You want to give [other] people the opportunity to live on campus.”

But people online aren’t buying it. Alums and students feel like these temporary housing units show a lack of care from the university regarding student needs and greediness in general:

There has been some dispute over how much living in the auxiliary housing units cost, since the price is listed as about $10 thousand on their website:

But McCuskey says they charge the lowest rate to anyone who lives there, about $1,200 a semester. That might be a deal that some students actually want. Just spend your days studying, your nights partying, and consider that weird cot as more of a large locker for your shoes.