Housing Officials Prepare for Incoming Freshmen
The housing process for the 2012 school year is underway and UA Housing officials are already working to prevent students from being placed in overflow housing next fall.
More than 50 students were placed in overflow housing at the beginning of the fall semester. For the first time in years, students were temporarily placed in study rooms and even hotels, Johnson said.
Some of these students remained in these overflow spaces well into the semester.
Housing officials work closely with enrollment management to project the number of students they will need to accommodate, she said.
“If cancellations are less than projected, that is when we have to use enrollment. Due to this new phenomena of enrollment, old information doesn’t really apply anymore,” she said.
Housing officials expect to accommodate 89 to 91 percent of new freshmen enrolled for next fall, she said.
“We stay in contact with enrollment services throughout the process to see if there are variations or changes,” she said.
Housing officials require incoming freshmen to either live on campus or with their parents, which limits the number of upperclassmen that housing can accommodate.
Upperclassmen who do not receive a scholarship that requires them to live on campus are not guaranteed a spot on campus and usually look off-campus for housing.
“We anticipate we will not be able to fulfill all requests for upperclassmen looking to return to campus,” Johnson said.
The renovations of Walton South last summer added 68 beds for upperclassmen, yet housing still cannot accommodate all upperclassmen wishing to live on campus.
The addition of Hotz Hall, which will add 416 beds, is expected to ease the shortage of space, though additional housing will still be needed, Johnson said.
“Hotz Hall will definitely help, but the 416 spaces in Hotz won’t necessarily equal 416 more upperclassmen,” Johnson said.
“I applied to live on campus again next year,” said Grace Colly, freshman Yocum resident. “I would really like to keep living on campus. If I can’t live in a dorm, I’ll try and live in my sorority house, and if I can’t do that, I guess I’ll have to find an apartment.”
“I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet,” said Logan Moyer, freshman Futrall Hall resident. “My fraternity’s house isn’t going to be done yet, so we’re looking at apartments to rent together.”
Some student organizations, like Residents’ Interhall Congress, are advocating the issue to increase upperclassmen housing on campus.
A study conducted at Northwestern University shows that there are benefits to living on campus as an upperclassman, such as lower cost of living and higher focus on schoolwork.
Housing administrators are still working on a housing master plan, which will hopefully create a long-term solution for student housing, Johnson said.