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ISSUE 118 VOL 6 PUBLISHED 10/22/2004

Halls lack space

By Jean Mullins
News Editor

Friday, October 22, 2004

This coming semester, Pamela McDowell, director of Residence Life, will have a challenge in the residence halls.

While there are 143 students currently abroad or on a leave of absence who are planning to return to campus for second semester, there are only 89 students planning to leave for second semester.

This presents what McDowell called "a housing concern."

McDowell is not worried, though. There are currently 52 vacancies in the residence halls at this time, and a small number of students will be off campus during second semester on abroad trips.

However, she said that this is not a lot of space to play around with.

"I will have to figure out how to house every single person on campus," McDowell said.

McDowell cannot confirm the number of students coming or going for second semester until Dec. 22, due to unexpected changes regarding studying abroad or returning to campus.

This housing crunch calls attention to potential future issues, such as the possibility of a growing student body and the future of housing on and off campus.

Both McDowell and Greg Kneser, dean of student life, say major growth will not be a problem.

"The goal is not to go over three thousand," McDowell said.

However, the College is beginning to think of other housing options for students living on campus.

Kneser made a presentation on housing and its future to the Board of Regents at their Oct. 7 meeting.

He mentioned issues of keeping the current residence halls up to date and maintained, and encouraged the Board to begin thinking about other housing options.

"I wanted to give the Board a headsup on a longterm issue," Kneser said.

Kneser suggested to the Board the idea of putting more singles and apartment-style housing on campus for students.

He pointed to the high demand for single rooms, even with the extra charge added on this year.

As for plans for new residence halls, none are currently in the works.

For now, McDowell is hoping to alleviate the housing crunch in other ways.

She needs 175 students to live off campus next year, and is working on a way to encourage students to look into offcampus options.

Living off campus can be significantly more expensive than oncampus housing, however.

While the average rent for a student living in a house or apartment may be around $500, without utilities, McDowell said, the school only charges $305 per month, with all amenities included.

For now McDowell is focusing on the current housing shortage. "Students who are living in rooms with missing roommates should count on getting a roommate for second semester," McDowell said.

McDowell said that students expecting to lose a roommate can be assured that their requests for new roommates will be honored to the best of Residence Lifes ability.

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