Welcome (lots of) neighbors! University Residences are full
More Western students than expected have signed up to live in University Residences, which means a few students are getting a crash course in close living this fall.
Forty double rooms were converted to triples at the beginning of fall quarter, and another 27 students were set to live in a nearby hotel along with a resident adviser, said Willy Hart, director of University Residences. Most of the students are freshmen, Hart says.
Fewer students than expected cancelled their on-campus housing this year, Hart says. This year, perhaps because students are hoping to save money on gas and utilities, there are about 100 more returning students in University Residences than expected.
About 200 students who had applied for housing were turned away, Hart says. Most were students who had lived off campus and wanted to return, and late transfer applicants. The requests had been carefully reviewed to make sure the inability to house the students on campus wouldn’t stand in the way of their education, he says.
University Residences is also leasing a total of 83 beds for upperclassmen in apartments close to campus. Western has leased apartments for students since 2006, but this is the highest number of students housed in apartments paid for by the university in recent years.
International students were affected, too. Twenty students in the Intensive English Program are housed in apartments next to campus.
Housing staff will analyze whether the crunch is a one-year anomaly or part of a trend.
“If we feel this is a trend, and not a blip, we will get this organized before July of next year,” he says.
A 100-bed addition at Buchanan Towers is planned to be open for fall 2010.
Hart knows the arrangement is not what some students and their families were expecting. But he thinks it will be short-lived. About 40 students typically move out of residence halls in the first four weeks, he says, and the students in the hotel will move on campus as room becomes available.
The last time University Residences converted doubles to triples at the last minute was 2000.
Those triple-roomed students later reported the same levels of satisfaction as other students with their residential living experience, Hart says.