SHSU Residence Life close to ending dorm overcrowding issue
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012 00:09
Sixteen students will need to wait about three more weeks before being permanently placed in residence halls after the Residence Life Department dealt with overcrowding of dorms at the opening of the Fall semester.
According to Joellen Tipton, director of Residence Life, about 60 students were put in temporary rooms around campus at the beginning of the semester because of an influx of students who enrolled late and the demolition of King Hall.
“With the freshman class growing, it’s harder to predict how many students we will have living on campus,” Tipton said. “Our biggest concern is the students who enroll at the last minute. It just hinders our ability to plan. Whenever they apply earlier, it makes it easier to control.”
Tipton said the demolition of King Hall added to overcrowding. To combat this, she said Residence Life made adjustments to offer several female rooms as male rooms in Sam Houston Village and in other small houses.
With an average of 3,204 students living on campus over the last four years, overcrowding of residence halls is not uncommon at the beginning of the semester, especially with the number of students who apply or enroll late. Tipton outlined the alternatives Residence Life uses to help the problem.
Tipton said Residence Life places students in premium-double rooms, which are rooms that housed three beds before, in halls like Belivn-Buchanan Hall and Estill Hall. Additionally, students are placed in Resident Adviser rooms, unused spaces in sorority houses and the University Hotel.
“We move the hotel students first as soon as space is available,” Tipton said. “We begin by moving students into no-show rooms, where students originally assigned never show up. Then, as more space becomes available, we move students in.”
Usually, students are moved in by the second week of class, Tipton said. However, with one of the largest freshman classes enrolled at Sam Houston State University this fall semester, it has taken longer.
“We have had one of the larger groups in the hotel [compared to previous years],” Tipton said. “Because of that, those students stay a little longer in temporary spaces and it takes longer for us to place them.”
Of the 16 students awaiting placement, four are still in Resident Adviser rooms, four are in sorority houses and eight are in the University Hotel.
Tipton predicts to have them moved in permanent rooms in about three weeks.
As enrollment continues to rise, Tipton stressed the need for more living space on campus.
“We’re excited about it,” she said. “We badly need new buildings because it makes it harder to accommodate more students with some of our older buildings.”
According to the University Master Plan, Raven Village will be used as a model to build additional dorms to accommodate a growing student population. There are currently 3,269 residential beds, and the plan anticipates needing 4,000 beds by 2020.
President Dana Gibson touched on this addition to campus living in her “Sate of the University Address” earlier this month.
In her address, Gibson said the university has acquired land to build a new residence hall on the south side of campus across from Raven Village.
“[Planning groups] have been planning and building presentations over the next couple of months to finalize it pretty quickly,” Gibson said.