Over the summer, some students began submitting housing requests and prepared to start the fall semester living the dorm life. Now, 129 are still waiting.
David Kloiber, assistant director of assignments and marketing for the USF Department of Housing and Residential Education (HRE), said that due to the overwhelming demand for housing, students still hoping to receive a dorm assignment were placed on a waiting list earlier this month.
“Sometimes it can take all semester to go through the whole list,” he said. “But, more than likely, all will be accommodated by spring.”
Dorie Paine, director of HRE, said the department could not release any information on the students who are on the list, but that it is not uncommon to have a wait list for housing every year.
There are 5,600 room assignments on campus. Of those, approximately 3,800 are for “first time in college students,” and 1,800 are for upperclassmen, Kloiber said. This includes Greek Village, which is predominately filled with upperclassmen.
Unlike the USF St. Petersburg campus, which sent approximately 50 students to live at a nearby Hilton Hotel this fall due to overcrowded residence halls, no overflow housing plan exists at the Tampa campus. The Juniper-Poplar dorm opened last fall to house 1,000 freshmen.
According to the USF e-profiles found on the USF website, freshmen enrollment increased by 7.9 percent this fall, with 2,967 students after drop/add, compared to 2,751 last year.
Last fall, USF created the First Year Housing Initiative, which requires all first-year students to live on campus – a policy that may be a contributing factor to the housing shortage.
However, there are some exceptions to the rule.
According to the HRE website, first-year students may live off campus if they fulfill the following requirements: “the student will reach the age of 21 prior to the first day of classes of their first term of enrollment, the student is married, the student has dependent family (children or parents) under the student’s care, the student resides in the principal residence of a parent or legal guardian within the counties of: Hillsborough, Pasco or Pinellas.”
Yet, for the students whose housing future remains unclear, Paine said they have some options. The Off-Campus Housing program, created by Student Government, refers students to area housing with a wide variety of price ranges.
“There is such a wealth of it that it is not difficult to find housing off campus,” she said.