Lack of on-campus housing results in buy-outs, RAs rooming with freshmen

Lack of on-campus housing results in buy-outs, RAs rooming with freshmen

Lack of on-campus housing results in buy-outs, RAs rooming with freshmen
September 01
14:27 2019

In an effort to address a shortage of on-campus housing, UNT emailed current students a $1,000 buyout in exchange of their on-campus residency while some resident advisors currently have a freshman roommate.

Students that lived in single occupancy suites at Victory Hall, which are typically reserved for upperclassmen, received an email about the buyouts.

“I genuinely thought it was a scam,” said sophomore Christina Bridges. “I accepted the offer because I needed the money for the school year.”

Bridges said that in the long run her apartment living situation would be better due to its proximity to campus rather than having to make the commute from Victory Hall. Although the offer only stood at $1,000, students felt that the offer wasn’t enough.

“There should have been more offered, considering the fact that we pay more than $1000 to live in the dorms,” said Bridges. “Another difficulty is that we have to make monthly payments instead of just paying for it all at once.”

Tiffany Lipscomb, the associate director of freshmen recruitment, said that although the numbers won’t be official until the 12th class day, the estimated number of incoming freshman is between 5,200 and 5,400 students.

UNT policy requires first year college students enrolled in more than nine hours to live on campus.

The lack of on-campus housing comes as the class of 2023 begins their freshman year.

“I have been told that the academic departments are collaborating to ensure classes are available for students,” said Lipscomb. “In order to maintain as smooth a transition as possible, departments across campus will need to continue to be collaborative to assist new students.”

Due to the number of incoming freshmen, residence halls that are usually occupied by upperclassmen have been opened to the class of 2023. Legends Hall, College Inn, Traditions Hall, Honors Hall and Mozart Square now have freshmen living there.

With more freshmen living at traditionally upperclassmen dorms, RAs now have more freshmen than usual.

“I have way more freshmen than we’re originally supposed to,” said Jade Salser, an RA for the combined community of Honors Hall and Mozart Square. “We typically have five to 10 freshmen per semester, but this semester alone we already have 47 students combined.”

Salser said that RAs for Mozart Square and Honors Hall usually have 10 to 15 freshman residents “at the most.”

“Mostly since we house some of the UNT sports teams, any freshmen that is on the team and is supposed to live on campus, is housed here,” Salser said.

Some RAs now have freshman roommates to deal with the lack of on-campus housing.

Kerr Hall sophomore RA Mycah Barnes currently has a freshman roommate.

“As an RA, it’s kind of difficult to have a freshman roommate because of our ‘on-call’ schedule,” said Barnes. “Anything can happen while we are on-call and we don’t want our roommate to know what’s going on or affected by it.”

Barnes said that the roommate situation threw some people off guard.

“I think UNT is handling the situation the best they possibly could,” Barnes said. “But they should inform everyone about what they’re doing.”

James Fairchild Jr., the associate director of housing, could not be reached for comment prior to publication. 

Featured Illustration: Jeselle Farias

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Natalie Ochoa

Natalie Ochoa

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