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Double-take on dorm-room costs; or single, or triple…

BY Lorien MacEnulty

It may seem luxuriously expensive to live alone at Drake—single dorm rooms cost about 1.5 times the more populous accommodations. But the space you pay for is actually cheaper and, some say, completely worth the investment.

Drake offers four types of dorm room arrangements for students living on campus: a single room, double room, triple room or four-person suite.

Statistically, double rooms are the most popular form of accommodation among Drake students, followed closely by four-person suites. 

Few Drake students occupy a room alone, but Josh Emalfarb, a junior studying marketing, doesn’t find the arrangement all that bad.

“The slight downside to it is there’s a bit less space drawer-wise…but it’s not that bad,” Emalfarb said.

Indeed, space is called into question. Single rooms at Drake, while more expensive, tendentiously offer more individual space per person—a whopping 140 square feet to oneself, compared to 94 square feet with a roommate. In paying for each square foot individually, it’s actually cheaper to occupy a single dorm room than to room with others. See the associated graphics for details.

Although he sought a single room because all the double rooms were gone when he signed up, Emalfarb said he has had negative experiences with his first Drake roommate.

“He was in med-school, and he was on a very different schedule,” Emalfarb said. “I was studying late at night and he had to get up earlier than me for classes, and he got mad at me because I wanted to study in the room.”

Living alone certainly has its merits. But sophomore Amy Flieder in PR and advertising, however, enjoys living with three other people in Goodwin-Kirk, the only residence hall to offer four-person suites.

“I like having more people around, more people to do stuff with,” Flieder said. “I wasn’t super good friends with my [one] roommate, whereas…I’m pretty good friends with my other roommates, so it makes things convenient when we’re doing stuff.”

Quadruple rooms are by far the most expensive real estate on campus, honing in at just under $40 per square foot of space. Flieder said that one can save, however, by divvying-up the room’s embellishments; one person brings a microwave, the other dishes and so on.

“When we were moving in [we had to decide] who’s getting what?” Flieder said. “Who already has what from the first year? Stuff like that.”

Like Emalfarb, Flieder said that schedules conflict quite often, especially when rooming with three other people. But some Drake athletes whose schedules coincide may find the situation quite impeccable.

“[My roommate and I] both have to be at the same place at the same time,” said sophomore and football player Jared Defriend. “Once the school year starts, we’ll both have our first thing at 6:00 in the morning. We’ll both have to be up for that. We’ll both be doing the same thing.”


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