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Double Dorm Rooms Support Marriage, Says NSU Res Life

I go fishing for irony and find that Northern State University believes same-sex cohabitation may strengthen the institution of marriage:

“A lot of students want singles, they don’t want a double room,” [NSU Residence Life director Marty] Sabolo said. “And that worries me more than anything, is the growing concern for single rooms for students. … At some point in time in life, you need to learn to share space because, hopefully … most people, at some point in time, want to learn to share space because they want to have a spouse.

“College is one of the best ways to learn how to have a roommate, and all of a sudden you have to learn how to compromise with bedtimes and study times and sharing your space” [Katherine Grandstrand, “Students’ Dorm Desires Lead to Higher Costs,” Aberdeen American News, 2015.08.31].

Hopefully… want to have a spouse—I’m intrigued that a public institution stakes out a normative position on marriage as a preferable state for most people and that Res Life sees preparing young people for that someday blessed union as part of its mission. I’m not sure I can trace any of my husband skills back to SDSU’s shacking me up with men I’d never met before.

Rather than arguing the future spousal merits of old-fashioned double rooms, NSU Res Life might want to stick with the financial argument: We know you young millennials all want your own space, but single rooms are expensive and inefficient, and you students are headed for enough student debt as it is*. We’re keeping costs down: you live on campus, you get a double room.

Of course, Res Life would have more single rooms available if the Board of Regents didn’t feel compelled to maintain its policy of requiring freshmen and sophomores to live and buy overpriced meals on campus.

*According to WalletHub, South Dakota has the second-highest percentage of students with debt and the fourth-highest percentage of student borrowers age 50 and over, but we have the second-lowest percentage of students past due or in default on their student loans and the tenth-lowest average student debt as a percentage of average income adjusted for cost of living.


  1. Don Coyote 2015-08-31

    I say stack ’em up like cordwood. In the 60’s, my oldest brother lived in Julian Hall (aka Animal Hall) at USD which had 4 man rooms.

  2. mike from iowa 2015-08-31

    Only takes two to form a conspiracy.

  3. Rorschach 2015-08-31

    I got a dorm roommate who wasn’t too bad a guy from small town South Dakota. One of his friends that didn’t go to college came to visit one time and stole one of my shirts from my dresser. Of course I didn’t know where it went. I thought I misplaced it until the guy came back to visit next time and, apparently forgetting where he got the shirt, wore it in front of me. The roommate? After dropping out of college he went to prison for robbing a pizza guy. Every college student should have the opportunity to tell roommate stories.

  4. Loren 2015-08-31

    My first roomy as a frosh at SDSU was a returning second year student on academic probation. He taught me a LOT about what NOT to do! BTW, he did NOT pass probation! :-)

  5. Vance Feyereisen 2015-08-31

    I stayed in Julian Hall in 57. It was doubles at that time. I could not have had a better roommate.

    My daughter was lucky in that regard also. What are the chances of 2 complete strangers having the same first and middle names and the same birth dates. They are still good friends today.

    Hey Cory. You mentioned Iona in one of your posts. I was born and grew up there. It was a great community. Still would be today if government ag policies had not insisted on giving the most to those who already had the most.

    Your blog covers a lot of ground. Great reading!!

  6. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-08-31

    I grew up with 5 siblings! I know how to live with people. I had a double room in MacArthur Welsh Hall at NSC my freshman year. At that time all freshmen women had to live there unless they commuted from home every day. My roommate was a mousy little thing and the only thing we had in common was the room.

    The next year I lived in Steele Hall for a semester, then Kramer for the second semester. I got out of the dorms ASAP, and never regretted that.

    Oh, in 1993 I lived in Bochmann Hall at Luther Seminary for a year. It was a shock to my system. All rooms there were single. I moved out of there ASAP too.

  7. jeniw 2015-08-31

    Making introverts share a room is going against who they are, or trying to turn them into something that they are not.

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-08-31

    Vance! Iona as example of the destruction wrought by corporate-welfare farm subsidies? Sad, but vitally important. We should get Rick Weiland to run again next year and shoot a sequel to his Iona video talking about exactly that issue. Thank you for reading! Glad to have you here!

  9. Roger Cornelius 2015-08-31

    Will Roger Hunt be conducting personal genital inspections to insure transgender students aren’t doubling up with gay or straights students?

  10. leslie 2015-08-31

    My first roommate, an ag student at a “mountain state” university was a shy, effeminate, rich, latino farm kid fighting severe acne despite aggressive treatment, in a brand new high horsepower camaro w/all the fixins’, who drove 70 miles home every friday to perhaps overly protective parents. nice person that, unfortunately I wasn’t too close to and didn’t remain connected, but would likely NOT have survived “stacked like cordwood”. john wayne is really passe’ coyote.

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