Solution for Lack of Student Housing

Topics: University, Student, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities Pages: 6 (2354 words) Published: June 29, 2011
Over the last few years, Texas State University-San Marcos has seen a significant increase in the number students applying and being admitted to the university. According to Hendricks (2010), from the fall of 2009 to the fall of 2010, the campus saw a 5.9% increase in the number of students attending the university. In the fall of 2010, the campus reached a new record enrollment of 32,586 students; Out of those, 3,930 were incoming freshman. A vast majority of freshmen and sophomores experience their first two years of college life spread out among the university grounds in dormitories or apartments. In order for many incoming students to attend, they must live on-campus unless they meet the requirements as stated by university policy. Although this seems like a small number of incoming students to provide housing to, many prospective students, especially freshmen, are now experiencing problems when applying for on-campus living. Texas State University Residence Life (n.d.) policy on student housing requires that in order for a student to be eligible to live off-campus they must have obtained 30 credited hours or be over the age of 20. Although campus living is a first year college experience that many enjoy, currently sophomores, juniors, and even some seniors are allowed to live in these facilities even though they meet the requirements for off-campus living. This is raising questions among the students of Texas State University on the current policy and its negative effects. There are only enough dorms to house 5,745 students and that does not account for Residential Assistants, returning freshmen, and returning upper-classmen. (Texas State University Residence Life, n.d.2) This has generated a waiting list for the students who do not meet the requirements to live off-campus.

In previous years, the university has lessened the requirements pertaining to on-campus living; however, there is still not enough housing to provide adequate accommodations for Texas State University Residence Life. With the capacity of students on a steady rise, housing is a critical issue that must be dealt with in an appropriate order to benefit the university as well as incoming freshman that need proper accommodations on-campus. Thus, we must reduce the amount of Texas State Student housing is overdrawn by 20 percent, while still maintaining the educational mission of Texas State University. This includes convenient and safe living for new students that allow for an increased chance of campus involvement and academic assistance. Certain necessary actions are needed in order to reduce or even eliminate the waiting list for incoming and returning freshmen. Problem Description and Analysis

Ten years ago, Texas State University had on average 17,000 students. Today, however, there are over 30,000 students attending the university, according to Megan Dupree (personal communication, June 21, 2011), Assistant Director of Housing and Resident Life. Of the 30,000 students, 4,047 are freshmen students here at Texas State University. Policy requires these 4,000 plus freshmen to live on campus if they have less than 30 credit hours and if they are under 19 years of age. This policy is enforced at Texas State University to provide freshmen with a “safe, comfortable and convenient living environment, while offering opportunities for increased campus involvement, social interaction and academic assistance.” (Texas State University Residence Life, n.d.) However, the policy has not improved Texas State University’s housing situation in the past, as it should. Temporary housing was used most recently 3 years ago and the problem became evident in 2007, according to Dupree. The temporary housing was a result of the overflow of incoming freshman and returning students on campus. The overflow housing made it hard for the university to achieve its mission statement successfully for all incoming freshmen as well as upperclassmen at the university. “The...
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