by Photo courtesy of UC San Diego

Three student dorms will make a comeback at UC San Diego during the Fall quarter to remedy a growing housing shortage amid pandemic restrictions that pushed classes virtually through January. 

There are many factors in the housing shortage, but it is largely due to the 2,000 beds taken out of service to reduce density among students during the pandemic. This removal placed about 3,200 students on a waiting list last summer. 

The decision to add 700 undergraduate beds and the reestablishment of three-bed student dorms comes as infection rates among students continue to decline.On Tuesday, it reported an infection rate of 6.91 percent.

UC San Diego’s Housing Dining Hospitality announced its decision to eliminate triple occupancy dorm rooms and replace their two-year guarantee with a priority system in April 2021. 

The school’s enrollment grew by 14,282 over the past 10 years, reaching a record 42,875. UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla told the San Diego Union-Tribune that enrollment is expected to jump again in September, hitting the 50,000 mark within 10 years.

The growth of enrollment also creates a strain on available affordable housing for students. The campus said it won’t get major housing relief. 

California public universities are no stranger to issues surrounding affordable housing. According to a report from the state’s Legislative Analyst Office, 16 percent of UC students lived in hotels, transitional housing, or other locations due to the lack of permanent housing. Another report published by the LAO found over 7,500 students were on a campus housing waitlist during Fall 2021.

UCSD went to the start of the winter quarter on Jan. 3 to deal with the COVID-19 Omicron surge, and it will continue to be virtual through January at least. 

The move comes after University of California President Michael V. Drake, M.D sent a letter to chancellors urging them to design and implement a plan for the return to campus in January that mitigates public health, impacts, and maintains teaching and research operations.

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