The Office of Residential Life (ResLife) is anticipating the need to provide housing for approximately 180 additional students in the spring semester, including students who are currently on leave, residing at the Inn at Middletown, studying abroad, and transferring to the University. At least 200 beds are expected to open up to accommodate these students for next semester, according to Director of ResLife Maureen Isleib.
This adjustment comes at a time when the University is already suffering from tight housing circumstances as a result of over-enrollment, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic limiting travel options for students seeking to study abroad. Though ResLife has been planning for this move since the beginning of the semester, Isleib emphasized that the office is now confident that there will be sufficient space by spring.
According to Isleib, of the students who will need housing, 113 are living at the Inn, 30 are returning from leave, 5 are expected transfers, and 30 are currently abroad. As of this article’s publication, 116 students are planning to study abroad in the spring.
“Usually for spring we are around 100 [students studying abroad], so this is a slightly bigger spring,” Director of Study Abroad Emily Gorlewski wrote in an email to The Argus. “But we had 152 [students] who completed applications. So we are already seeing attrition, at a faster rate than usual.”
In addition to these 116, there are 37 students on track to graduate in December, as well as 45 pre-existing vacancies already on campus, and a handful of students who have been approved to live off-campus. Additionally, the University is in the process of creating more available housing for the spring.
“We are bringing 10 additional beds…from a house that the University acquired this fall, and is currently making upgrades to, for students to occupy in January,” Isleib wrote.
Altogether, this means that the University will be able to accommodate all students returning to campus next semester. Isleib emphasized that there wouldn’t be a default dorm or location for these returners.
“Students returning from leave/abroad, and from the Inn, will be assigned to spaces vacated by other students leaving campus for the spring semester,” Isleib wrote. “This means vacant spaces will be spread across campus. There will not be a lot of one type of housing, or a lot of vacancies in one particular unit. When thinking about the spring semester, students should be open to many different options.”
Though changes sometimes arise at the last minute, Isleib remains confident that housing will not be more crowded in the spring semester. She added that no beds would be added to existing full-occupancy rooms and that all current singles, doubles, and triples would stay that way.
“Unless there are significant changes in the number of students going abroad, housing will probably feel similar to the fall,” Isleib wrote. “We will be using every space we have.”
Sam Hilton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.