Resident Halls Adjust to More Students

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For the past two school years there has been some housing issues for students. The rate of enrollment and admission has increased, while living space for these students has gone down.

During those years, students were relocated to the university hotel, sorority houses, or even made two person rooms into three. Also, there has been Resident Advisors who have now had to get roommates instead of living by themselves.

Residence Life Administrative Assistant II Tony Nick said this issue will be solved soon with the new residence hall under construction scheduled to be completed by the fall semester of 2017.

According to the Executive Director of Residence Life and Living Learning Programs Joellen Tipton, there are about 200 students who were in housing problems again this academic year. The residence hall rooms were forced to triple people living inside of White Hall, Belvin Buchanan, and the Estill building and in some cases Resident Advisors were required to have roommates.

“We’re expecting all of those [students] to be moved by the end of this semester,” Tipton said.

There were 29 no shows, and over the course of these first three weeks of classes most of the students who were crammed into rooms have been able to be properly placed into their own spaces.

“We’ll have students who leave during the first few weeks of school for a variety of reasons,” Tipton said. “Some are homesick, maybe their financial aid is not going to come in, or they decide they can’t afford it, maybe they didn’t get the classes they wanted. Then there have been some that we have removed from the halls for illegal substance use. They lose their housing.”

The construction of the new residence hall is scheduled to be completed by the fall semester of 2017. At the moment there have been no setbacks on construction. The hall is planned to house 700 students. With the rooms being made for two students who will share an adjoining bathroom with the neighboring two students.

“Rooms like Estill Hall or some of our small houses, except a little larger,” Tipton said. “The bathroom is setup where there is more privacy for the toilet and the shower. They will be compartmentalized off, so that truly four people can use that area at one time without privacy being an issue.”

The hall is set to reserve spaces for the Honors college, The Bearkat Learning Community, Health Sciences, and Agriculture, the remaining rooms will be for any students who wish to live there.

The construction work has disrupted one of the parking lots.

“The only issue with the resident hall being built is the parking lot area where they have lain down the [construction] equipment,” Tipton said. “They’re using kind of one area for those construction projects.”

Hopefully having to find space for new students will no longer be an issue once the fall 2017 rolls around and the brand new residence hall is fully constructed.