As the spring semester comes to a close, students have begun procrastinating for finals, packing up their belongings and finalizing living arrangements for next year. The room reservation process has ended, and students are steadfastly preparing for their transition to new dorms or off-campus apartments; whether they’re making decoration plans with roommates, organizing group chats with new suites or discussing living arrangements with others to locate potential neighbors, the campus is abuzz with conversation about housing plans.
Some students, however, are unable to partake in the discussion, as Residential Life has informed some students that there is a lack of housing available on campus at this moment in time. As the dorms have all filled and certain suites in mixed-age dorms are reserved for first years, some 30 upperclassmen students are left without housing.
The idea of not having a dorm to call home can be alarming.
“It gives me tremendous anxiety. I know that I will eventually have a room, but I really would like to know where I will be living from August to May. I know everything will turn out fine, but it really is upsetting,” said Mary Feit, a sophomore communication major.
Feit had made arrangements for a suite with her friends, but was told on room reservation day in early April that there weren’t any dorms available anymore.
Despite the lack of dorms, Feit hopes options will be made available for her and her future roommates to live together on campus.
“I hope that I get to stay on campus. Since I do not have a car, off campus housing isn’t ideal, although I am not opposed. I will be very upset if they have to break up my suite. As a rising junior, I should be able to have certain privileges be fulfilled, such as choosing who I want to live with and actually living with them,” Feit said.
Fortunately for Feit, her roommates and other students left without housing, the staff members of Residential Life have been working carefully to solve the rooming problem.
“This happens every year. We will have plenty of spaces become available over the summer,” said Lisa Chapa, housing assignment coordinator.
As the number of students in each class has increased steadily over the years, members of Residential Life have become accustomed to handling dorm shortages. The experience has left them prepared to deal with anxious or upset students.
“Be patient. I’ll be communicating with students throughout the summer,” Chapa said.
While Residential Life is not always able to guarantee housing during the room reservation process, students waiting to hear about plans for housing arrangements can anticipate notifications to be made during the late summer.
“The entire month of June is spent on first year assignments. In July, some students will let us know if they won’t be returning or anything like that, so a lot of cancellations are made then. The longer we wait in the summer, the more possibilities we’ll have to get rooms and suites together, so we’re waiting for the summer to make ideal moves happen,” said Wanda Olson, assistant director for housing operations.
Because these spaces will open up the possibility of hopeful students being granted off-campus housing is unlikely.
“More seniors are deciding to stay on campus, as about 120 of them will be living on campus next year. We haven’t released juniors to live off campus for years, however, because we always have room for everyone. We’re saving spaces for first year students, but with the May 1 deadline coming up, we’ll be able to work out plans soon,” Olson said.
Students without housing for the upcoming year are advised to wait on information from Residential Life to be provided over the summer; for any other inquiries about future housing plans, reach out to Residential Life to voice concerns or ask questions.