Rooms, not rent, should be housing’s priority
We all know about late-night study sessions that seem to last until dawn. Sometimes it would be easier if you could just sleep in the study lounge. Unfortunately, some dorm residents don’t have a choice.
According to Residential Life and Housing, Moody Towers purposely overbooks rooms to compensate for unclaimed rooms and to guarantee capacity for the entire semester (see Tuesday’s story, News)
Converted study lounges and temporary housing hold up to four students at a time and could be used as long as four weeks while students wait for permanent rooms.
Although there are worse scenarios, this is not what students should be dealing with upon arriving to college for the first time. Not only does it provide for an uncomfortable inconvenience now, but again when students move into another room within a few weeks.
It’s sad to see that UH plans on inconveniencing students before they’ve ever arrived. At $1,834 a semester, maybe the University has other reasons for accepting more applications than it can accommodate.
UH is not the only university using these methods, though. Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan. also overbooks its rooms for similar reasons.
"We don’t see it as a problem, but as an indicator of our success," Derek Jackson, associate director of Administrative Services and Residence Life at KSU, told the Kansas State Collegian in August.
With administrators seeing this as a positive thing, how long will it be before students are shacking up in maintenance closets until a room in a study lounge opens up?
According to the article, KSU blames housing overflow on an increase in international students wanting to live on campus. While this may be true, students still have to fill out applications and apply for residence halls prior to school. It’s doubtful the amount of students in overflow housing was unexpected when the university sent out acceptance letters.
If universities are going to plan on overbooking the rooms they have now, maybe they should transform study lounges into permanent rooms until they find a better way to accommodate residents. The students’ comfort should be Residential Life and Housing’s top priority. After that, it can worry about meeting quotas and counting earnings.