North Texas Daily

University announces limited on-campus housing for upperclassmen next year

University announces limited on-campus housing for upperclassmen next year

University announces limited on-campus housing for upperclassmen next year
November 04
12:30 2022

The university has officially announced that on-campus housing for upperclassmen will be limited next year, allocating bed space to meet the growing number of expected freshmen subject to the first-year student residency requirement. 

This news comes after a large freshman class already left housing over capacity this semester. Now, some current freshmen are scrambling to figure out what to do about their housing situation next fall. 

“There have been a few [freshmen] who have already come to me and basically started crying because they didn’t know what they were going to do,” said an RA, who was granted anonymity due to a fear of losing their job. “Someone who has lived off campus before might think this is not a big deal, but when it’s a new experience and you have to start thinking about it during the middle of your first semester at college, it can be stressful.”

With record-high inflation and higher demand for off-campus housing, it has already been a struggle in the past for students to find affordable apartments. The university has been pushing to retain students, and President Neal Smatresk said in an official announcement that it is an “incredible achievement” to have had the university grow more than any other school in Texas for the last three years. 

“I work for housing, and I don’t know why this is happening,” the RA said. “They haven’t told me what they’re doing about it. All they’ve told the RAs right now is to tell everyone else that there is limited availability for upperclassmen. It’s really frustrating.”

Fashion design freshman Danna Nguyen said she has already begun searching for an apartment for next year due to the announcement regarding limited space for non-freshman. She said she has struggled to find apartments close to campus in her price range. 

“I tried doing tours, but most apartments have been very expensive,” Nguyen said. “I’ve found that the apartments close to campus have a much higher price point than those that are 10 or 15 minutes away. Having to find a place off campus so quickly before they start to fill up is really hard and really stressful.”

The recent demolition of College Inn, a former residence hall, has left even less space for students wanting to live on campus and has raised questions about future plans for new dorms. 

Facilities Auxiliary Planning Manager James Calaway said there are no concrete plans for the space that College Inn occupied. 

The current plan is to finish the demolition of College Inn and return it back to a green site,” Calaway said. “Due to the record enrollment of freshmen this year and the anticipated growth in the coming years, I would predict that the UNT System will plan for a new residence hall for the Denton campus. The UNT System is responsible for all new buildings and major renovations so they, along with a committee, will ultimately decide where and when a residence hall is built.”

The university recently held a housing fair to showcase off-campus housing options for students. The event was held on a Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., which poses a conflict for students who have class at the time, the RA said. Another housing fair will be held in the spring. 

In accordance with the announcement from housing and the notice regarding student retention, the university does not see a lack of housing for returning students as a problem, citing resources for students such as the off-campus housing source to find other accommodations.

“This over-admitting makes me feel like another number, and it doesn’t make me feel like I’m valued as a student here,” the RA said. “This isn’t a freshman university — this is an ‘everyone university.’”

Featured Image: A housing and dining sign points people towards their door on Nov. 3, 2022. Photo by Maria Crane

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Jillian Nachtigal

Jillian Nachtigal

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