Housing crunch hits
Triples up by 40, overflow in lounges
Campus residence halls are at 106 percent occupancy this fall as freshmen and Washington Semester student enrollments soar, Julie Weber, director of Residential Life and Housing Services, said.
There are 1,364 freshmen living on campus this semester, an increase of 122 from last year, according to Anna Pugliese, associate director of undergraduate admissions.
A record 166 freshman rooms were initially tripled, however that number has gone down by at least 32 since last Thursday, Weber said. That figure is still higher than last year's 125 triple rooms, she said.
On the Tenley campus, the Washington Semester program has experienced a dramatic increase in enrollment. There are over 600 students enrolled in the program, which is designed for 435. For the first time ever, 20 rooms have been converted to triples at Tenley campus, Weber said. The program experiences an increase in enrollment every four years when there is a presidential election, she added.
Freshmen living in triples are on a waiting list to be detripled based on the average of the three occupants' date of housing deposit. Last Thursday, 50 female triples were offered a chance to detriple, but 30 declined because most of the available spaces are located in North side residence halls. Triples that declined were put at the bottom of the list, Weber said.
In addition to the freshmen triples, there are two other types of short-term housing. Temporary housing has been set up in residence hall lounges. Forty students will occupy these spaces until they find off-campus housing, Weber said.
Overflow housing has been set up in locations such as the Leonard Hall study lounge and the seventh floor of McDowell. Twenty-three males currently occupy spaces in overflow housing. All females have been accommodated into either double or triple rooms, Weber said.
RLHS received new housing applications as late as last Tuesday. Ten more students, mainly upperclassmen, filed applications. All received housing in overflow spaces.
Having so many people living on campus has not put a strain on AU's power supply. RLHS assigns triple rooms in every residence hall in order to avoid raising floor populations by more than 10 percent.
Currently there are no plans to change the $200 housing deposit fee that students are billed in the spring during room draw. The fee encourages students to think ahead about housing, Weber said.
RLHS has been asked to reconsider its policy that allows graduate students and upperclassmen on-campus housing, Weber said. Instead, RLHS would consider those who go through room draw and then accommodate others depending on whether space is available, Weber said.
In spite of the already crowded conditions in the residence halls, students living in the terrace of Letts Hall and the north terrace of Anderson will be placed in other rooms next semester when the 2nd floor of Mary Graydon Center is renovated and student offices relocate to these spaces. RLHS is "confident" that these students, as well as those who will return from abroad, will be placed in double rooms, Weber said.
AU received 8,466 freshmen applications last spring, an increase of 30 percent over two years, Pugliese said. Of the 8,466 applications, 6,055 were accepted, or 71 percent. AU enrolled 1,364 freshmen, she said.