As part of the ongoing campus construction plans, there is a ten-year project involving the updating and replacement of dorm furniture. University spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss wrote in an email to The Daily Princetonian that, during the summer, “over 1,000 units casegood furniture sets and in-suite living room furniture” were installed in Rockefeller and Mathey colleges.
University spokesperson Ahmad Rizvi expanded on the furniture plans in an email to the ‘Prince.’
Rizvi wrote that the project is supposed to take ten years, because “dorms must be taken offline for the whole summer, manufacturers must fabricate and deliver the various furniture pieces, multiple teams participate in the installation.”
According to Rizvi, the available space in each dorm room is assessed by an interior design firm, who then produce furniture layouts for the room. The interior design firm is just one of the many groups who are contributing to furniture replacement across campus.
Corbin Mortimer ’27 of Whitman College, which is yet to receive new furniture, told the ‘Prince’ in an interview that his furniture is “not [his] fave.” He said that the chairs “rock” — it is “tilted like a rocking chair” — and that “[his] mattress has scary stains.” Meanwhile, Nick Lorenzen ’27 of Rocky College told the ‘Prince’ that his furniture is new, and he thinks that “it’s pretty good.”
In a statement to the ‘Prince,’ Isabella Shutt ’24, an elected U-Councilor, wrote that she “appreciate[s] the new furniture for dorms with common rooms,” but added that more drawer space would be helpful. She explained that “the random drawer that’s meant to go under the bed is just a poor design choice and unrealistic for a college setting where you’re always elevating your bed.” Shutt added “they could have done a better job matching the color of the new to the dark trim and wood in Mathey,” but noted that “that’s not too important.”
According to Rizvi, the new furniture includes “hard surface furniture," manufactured by New England Woodcraft. This furniture, referred to as “bedroom sets,” includes the “desk, desk chair, pedestal, bed, underbed storage drawer, bookcase and the wardrobe.” The “soft seating” — ottomans and armchairs — are produced by Brill Seating.
Many of the new pieces of furniture are logged on a form from Housing Services sent out in September, known as the Room Condition Report (RCR). Students living in on-campus dorms were expected to complete this form by Oct. 13 which, according to the email regarding the RCR from Housing Services, “will enable [students] to provide detailed information on the condition of [their] rooms, will assist in identifying repairs, and will help to prevent unnecessary damage charges.”
Housing Services provide a number of FAQs on the RCR. According to the FAQ, after each report has been submitted, it will be reviewed by a Housing Area Coordinator. This process includes the area coordinator visiting the room and submitting work orders for items which require maintenance.
Rizvi wrote that “any furniture items missing from a room will be replaced. Depending on availability, that replacement may occur immediately or take up to six weeks.” This means that all rooms which were missing furniture at the start of the semester should now have been equipped with those missing items of furniture.
The RCR does not currently include a number of items of furniture, such as wardrobes, small shelving units, and the soft furnishings from Brill Seating. According to Rizvi, the RCR is currently being updated to include these furniture pieces.
Dorms across campus have many different sizes, with square footage ranging from 82 to 1,278, according to a data breakdown from the ‘Prince.’ Princeton dorms house between one to six people so different dorms will require different amounts of furniture.
A typical quad must contain four beds, four desks, and four desk chairs. Many have other additional items of furniture such as wardrobes, underbed storage drawers, and bookcases. The dorms which have had new furniture over recent years also contain soft furnishings such as armchairs and ottomans; however, the number of these additional features does, according to Rizvi, depend on the size and type of the room.
He said “because of the diversity of room sizes and types within the undergraduate housing inventory, there may be variations in the quantity of furniture that each room receives.” While one quad receives one armchair and one ottoman, another, bigger quad may receive two of each.
Remy Garcia-Kakebeen ’27, a member of a quad in Mathey college, said in an interview with the ‘Prince’ that she doesn’t “have any strong feelings toward it.” She added that she and her roommates “[are] glad that [their] current desks aren’t splintering and causing issues like the preceding desks [she] heard about.”
Whitman and Forbes Colleges will be the next to receive the new furniture, with Forbes in the summer of 2024 and Whitman in 2025.
Victoria Davies is a News contributor for the ‘Prince.’
Please send any corrections to corrections[at]dailyprincetonian.com.