Students Move Into Empty Classrooms to Overcome the Housing Crisis

Written by: Ayushi Banerjee

“I had a dream I went to class naked, and then I woke up, naked and in class,” said Lay.
Photo by Jack Yang

UCSD has recently begun a new housing initiative in response to the housing crisis currently affecting its students. To help the students who were unable to find a place to live for Fall 2021, UCSD has rented out some empty classrooms to be used as living spaces, advertising them as “the most immersive student experience yet.”

Returning third-year Hanna Lay is one student who found a room in Mandeville Hall through this initiative. Lay expressed gratitude towards UCSD, claiming “it was basically impossible to find housing within a 50-mile radius of campus, even the motels and park benches were all taken.” Many students reported they were considering taking an entirely online course load to avoid this “impossible search” for housing, but Lay stated that her backup plan was to “simply drop out.” When asked how she felt about her current living situation, Lay commented that “it actually worked out pretty well — I don’t have to struggle to find a parking spot like the losers who live in actual homes.”

Lay’s roommate Baque Aicke claimed that the initiative worked out even better for her because it maximizes the amount of time she spends sleeping. “My 8 a.m. discussion is actually in the same room that I sleep in, so I can afford to wake up at exactly eight without being late to class. I never have to worry about missing clicker questions, or finding a place to sit like these other chumps.” However, Aicke claims there are some alleged downsides to this type of living situation. “It’s kinda weird seeing students prop their skateboards and scooters on my bed, and having to clean myself using a Hydro Flask and some hand sanitizer isn’t super ideal.”

Another complaint expressed by students involved a lack of access to food. Students were not granted a kitchen or cooking space in their randomly assigned classrooms that were “clearly not designed to be lived in.” Lay asserts, “I’m a third-year, so of course I’m off the meal plans by now, but there’s not much I can cook on the overheating surface of a classroom’s projector.” When asked about her other food options, Lay claimed that she has to eat out often, “but sometimes, if I stand outside a dining hall for long enough, I get some leftover scraps.”

Despite these difficulties, students express a generally positive attitude towards this program. “It could be a lot worse,” claims fourth-year Barry Tyard. “I could still be struggling to hear my Zoom lectures over the sound of my barking dogs and screaming brothers at home. With this new housing initiative, I only have to worry about tuning out the professor while I nap.”

Staff Writer at TheMQ

At any given moment, Ayushi Banerjee can be found in a vine-covered back alley cafe, drinking hot chocolate and passionately dismantling the stigma around talking about issues of inequality and discrimination. Just like the word "moist," this dog lover is "valid" and "funny." And yes, Ayushi likes sushi.

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