New residence halls ease housing flow
Published: Friday, September 20, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 20, 2013 01:09
At the beginning of the 2012-13 academic year, 250 students were living in temporary housing. Now, a year later, all on-campus students have a room.
According to Brian Woodruff, director of Housing Options, Meals and Events (HOME), the number of students living on campus last year was higher than he and his staff had anticipated after disciplinary action forced Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Phi Kappa Tau to move on campus.
The fraternities violated several sections of Miami’s Code of Student Conduct, such as firework, drug and drug paraphernalia possession, as well as disorderly conduct, according to Woodruff.
“The fraternity situation caused a problem because there were a lot more fraternities on campus than we had predicted,” Woodruff said. “The first-year class came in larger than [the staff] anticipated.”
Sophomore Amanda Horne was one of the students affected by last year’s room shortage when she and her roommate were placed in what was meant to be a single room.
“They lofted our beds, which was very rickety and scary to climb up on top of,” Horne said. “They also put both our desks and our bureau underneath the lofted bed, and we had absolutely no room to do anything.”
According to Miami University’s Guide to Residence Hall Living, lofting beds is normally forbidden.
“Due to safety concerns, the construction or use of loft beds...or any other alterations of university beds by students are not permitted,” the guide states. “In some cases the University may install bed lofts in rooms as it deems necessary.”
Horne said she was also frustrated because, as an early decision applicant, she believed she was supposed to receive preferential housing.
Despite student inconvenience, Woodruff stressed the importance of ensuring that every room available is filled.
“Improvements in the housing department are paid for by room and board [fees],” he said. “So it is very important we are completely full in our housing.”
Woodruff noted that Miami’s campus is no longer over-capacity, as it was last year.
“Things have followed through with our models and predictions,” he said. “Things have settled in nicely.”
Woodruff also explained that he and his staff worked closely with enrollment management to ensure that every student would have a place to live.
“We did have a very small number of students in temporary housing for the first few days, but that’s pretty common to other schools as well, who sometimes have temporary housing for students for a whole semester,” he said.
According to Woodruff, these students were moved into their permanent residence halls within a week at most, as opposed to having to wait an entire semester, as was the case last year. Housing services also provided students with moving assistants to help move their belongings.
Sophomore Alicia Auhagen said she was unsure about her living arrangements for the current year.
“I think it’s great that Miami attracts more and more students every year,” she said. “It is extremely important for the university to have enough rooms for every freshman and sophomore student required to live on campus. I was unable to chose a specific room for my sophomore year because I got one of the last selection times, but thankfully I ended up in a great hall with a great group of girls.”
Overflow housing was greatly reduced this year thanks in part to the addition of two new dorms, Maplestreet Station and Etheridge Halls, which added over 300 new rooms.
Woodruff stressed that providing students with rooms is a big priority on campus.
“Every year we get more historical data,” he said. “Every year we work to improve and make our predictions even more precise.”