Campus feeling growing pains

As the spring semester kicks off the University continues to face issues of full housing.

The 11th day enrollment report, an unofficial census the University gathers on the 11th day of classes, shows that 916 students are currently living in the dorms and duplexes.

“Last semester there were 931 students,” said Cal Piston, associate dean of faculty development. Last spring, there were 832 students living on campus.

“It is common for the spring to have fewer on-campus students than the fall because more students graduate in December than new students come in,” said Piston.

“The University has a goal to grow, on average, two percent each year,” Piston said. Enrollment grew three and a half percent for the 2011-2012 school year.

Andrew Broquard, director of residence life, said that in the fall semester, the dorms were 98 to 99 percent full, an average of 46 more students than the past four years. There were 70 more seniors on campus in fall 2011 than fall 2010.

It is possible to house 947 on campus, but having a few empty spaces is helpful. The flexibility, he said, helps manage students who move to a different dorm between semesters.

“Next year will probably be really full,” Piston said. “Enrollment projections are looking pretty strong.”

Right now, it looks like there will be 940 to 990 students living on campus next fall, Broquard said. The 2012-2013 school year is still a long way off, so Broquard’s estimates are purely that—estimates.

To make enough space last semester, Broquard moved 18 students from the dorms to the duplexes and four students to a University-owned house on Holly.
In fall 2012 there may be up to 30 students living in the duplexes. Broquard said that typically the University rents out the duplexes to married students and graduate students. To fit 30 on-campus students, the buildings would not be rented out to anyone.

“We could move even more on-campus seniors and high juniors to the West Twin Springs apartments as we will with the duplexes, but that’s highly unlikely,” he continued, “We would have over a thousand on-campus students to need that.”

Broquard hopes that more seniors stay on campus next year as they did this school year. “Seniors bring a lot to campus life,” he said. Any future plans to build more residence housing would most likely resemble the townhouses.