‘I feel like I’m less accessible’: Pomona, Scripps students say off-campus housing continues to cause frustration, uncertainty

Four blue wire chairs stand in front of a tall, grey apartment building.
The Oasis KGI Commons now houses some Pomona students. (Zoe Cowan • The Student Life)

With the 5Cs still dealing with a housing crisis, students have been placed in off-campus housing for the second year in a row leaving some to figure out how to adjust to life outside their respective colleges’ residential communities. 

Currently, the colleges use different off-campus complexes to house students. Pomona College students that live off-campus are based in Oasis Apartments, while Scripps College students live at the Claremont Collegiate Apartments. 

Adriana di Bartolo-Beckman, assistant vice president for student affairs at Scripps, told TSL via email that Scripps, among other higher education institutions, experienced fluctuations in housing demand that created the housing crunch in the first place. Di Bartolo-Beckman cited the pandemic as one cause among several others. 

“Factors affecting the reduced campus housing supply include: lower-than-usual study abroad enrollment, more seniors enrolled in a ninth semester and a significant increase in requests for singles through the accommodations process,” Bartolo-Beckman told TSL. 

According to Bartolo-Beckman, several post-pandemic complications have reduced the supply of campus residential spaces for Scripps students.

“Shifts in continuing students’ preferences and behaviors, coupled with the ongoing need to de-densify residence halls to lower COVID-19 risks, have complicated efforts to accurately project post-pandemic housing needs,” Bartolo-Beckman said.

Some students at Scripps and Pomona said they felt the colleges could have handled the need for off-campus housing differently.

Amelia Lewis SC ’25, who resides in the CCA complex, said that one of the major challenges of living there was a lack of social connection. 

“I feel like I’m less accessible and my friends are less accessible just because we’re in such different spaces,” Amelia Lewis SC ’25 said.

“I feel like I’m less accessible and my friends are less accessible just because we’re in such different spaces,” Lewis said. “And there isn’t a ton of dorm community in CCA.”

Issues of accessibility and clear communication from school administrations also continued to impact the lives of Pomona students living off-campus. 

Isaac Warshaw PO ’25, who lives in Oasis, voiced issues concerning the transportation to and from off-campus housing. 

“The main issue is that the shuttle service isn’t always reliable,” Warshaw said. “In [Pomona’s] emails, they said shuttles come every fifteen minutes … but that language is deceiving.”

Warshaw said that college administration had previously told him that shuttles would arrive every 15 minutes, but he said there have been days where shuttles arrive every half an hour.

Pomona did not immediately respond to TSL’s request for comment. 

In an April email sent to students about this year’s room draw, Dean Josh Eisenberg said Pomona expected to lease off-campus rooms in Oasis only for the Fall 2022 semester, with the hopes that more juniors will study abroad in the spring, opening up on-campus rooms for those currently living off-campus.

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