When Carolyn Heffernan came to the University of Maryland to start her freshman year in August, she lugged her belongings to Easton Hall’s eighth-floor lounge — an area she’d soon live in with four other students.

Lounge living was supposed to be a temporary solution to a housing shortage after more students accepted their fall 2018 admissions than the university anticipated. So in an email on Nov. 2, the Department of Resident Life asked students across the 42 lounges to submit reassignment request forms before Thanksgiving break to relocate them for the spring 2019 semester.

But some students don’t want to leave.

Heffernan, an economics major, knew it “wasn’t guaranteed” she’d get to be in the lounge for the whole fall semester. And at this point, she doesn’t want to vacate the unconventional space she’s called home for four months.

“It’s allowed for a lot of space and a great hang-out area,” said Heffernan, who is from New Jersey. “Now my parents have to come down and move all my stuff out, so it’s going to be a huge process.”

[Read more: UMD will no longer bar students from their dorms after mental health hospital stays]

Resident Life spokesperson Tracy Kiras said students will be moved to dorms where other students have petitioned to cancel their spring housing, which could be “in any of our inventory across North and South Campus.”

Heffernan — who lives in Easton Hall and did not fill out the reassignment form — plans to move to College Park Towers, because she does not want to remain in housing where mold proliferated earlier this semester or be split up from her roommates.

Lounge residents who submitted a spring reassignment request will not be required to move out their belongings or turn in their keys before winter break. But those who didn’t will have to move out before winter break, according to an email from Resident Life.

“It’s a hassle to move all of our stuff out right at the end of finals,” Heffernan said. “My final is on the last day and the dorms close at 7 o’clock and my final is at 6 o’clock … so that causes a huge problem.”

One of Heffernan’s roommates, Abby Reibman, said she knew there was a possibility they’d have to move out, but she doesn’t look forward to doing so now.

[Read more: “It’s hot as shit”: UMD students in dorms without AC have taken to sleeping in lounges]

“It’s just a little inconvenient and kind of sad,” said Reibman, a freshman psychology major. “We could potentially be living across campus from each other.”

Being split from his roommates isn’t something Elkton Hall resident Tanner Miller will encounter, though. Resident Life informed him in an email that it was allowing “continued occupancy in lounges,” provided all roommates agree to stay, because of “the difficulties all residents in Elkton Hall faced and the temporary moves required to remediate mold.”

Miller, a freshman aerospace engineering major, said he and his roommates’ lounge never had any mold. That’s why they don’t mind staying where they are.

“Life is great — everyone comes to hang out,” he said.

For others, the switch to non-lounge living will also likely yield a rise in dorm fees for the spring semester, Kiras said. Students who lived in lounges paid fees at a lower rate — down from $6,683 to $6,311, a discount from the base price to the flex price for a triple or quad — when they were assigned housing, Kiras said.

The change didn’t surprise Amy Tran, a freshman biology major who also lives in an Easton lounge. She was prepared for the price increase since she first realized she’d be living in a lounge.

“It just sucks not knowing where we’re going and if we’re getting our first choice,” Tran said.

The department will not send moving students their new housing assignments until Jan. 11, less than three weeks before classes start. But they’ll be able to move into their new dorms between Jan. 25 and Jan. 28, a day earlier than other students will be able to move in, the email read.

In response to student concerns about the move, Kiras emphasized that lounge assignments were only intended to be temporary.

“Our desire and goal is to insure that every student has an experience of living in a typical residence hall room,” she said. “It’s never ideal when we have to use a lounge.”