By Charlotte Rutigliano
Because enrollment decreased this past term, less students struggled to find openings in campus housing. Senior psychology major Victor Perez was able to change dorms from the campus apartments to the College Creek complex because there was the space available for the upgrade.
Stephen St. Onge, director of Housing and Residence Life, said housing normally starts off the fall semester with around 104 percent occupancy and drop a little in the spring.
Currently housing is at 96.5 percent occupancy, having more open spaces for female students than male students. This has been a trend over the past few years.
Twenty-four-year old transfer student Kimberly Encio said when she lived in the College Creek housing complex it was a little overcrowded. The only reason she decided to move off campus was the high cost of living on campus.
“If it wasn’t so expensive I would have stayed on campus,” Encio said. “I loved the convenience of it all, being able to come home between breaks, close to the library and class, all of it.”
According to St. Onge, one goal the housing department has is to provide a reasonable cost for on campus housing.
“One of the strongest factors in student retention is living on campus for at least one year,” St. Onge said.
Housing is not just focusing on the cost, they are also very focused on opening up more spacing for both new and returning students. St. Onge said they have increased the number of lottery seats for returning students by 100.
With the university getting larger there is more demand for housing both on and off campus for students. Both Perez and Encio agreed that the university should have another dorm complex on campus to help with overcrowding and so they could provide more spaces to new and returning students.
St. Onge said that the housing department is always open to suggestions and feedback from students and said they have an open forum on March 2 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Jolly Giant Commons to discuss the potential for adding new housing on and off campus.