I’ve worked in collegiate residential life for 11 years, and while I don’t live in California now, I have in the past, so I understand the need to maximize space.
The architects are entirely correct to scorch the Munger dormitory project as it is perhaps the most poorly considered design and transparent money grab I have ever seen.
Residence Life personnel likely weren’t consulted, and I can’t imagine that counseling and psychological services were either. While putting seven people into a room isn’t new, it is well-known to cause a logistical nightmare for in-hall staff, particularly around roommate conflicts, suicidal ideation, and the simple act of moving into the space. Not to mention custodial and maintenance staff who have to address the amenities.
That said, introducing this sort of packed design, while still in a pandemic that hasn’t ended yet, baffles the mind. The Duke Global Health Institute has released information that we should expect a new pandemic every 59 years. The top suggestion: keep the current guidelines and adopt new tech to keep students safe.
Creating a Residence Hall with hostile student rooms so students will be pushed to utilize common spaces instead is short-sighted and dangerous and was a path chosen seemingly despite all the knowledge and lessons we have learned over the last two years.