Headlines were made in mid-July when it was revealed that Purdue University overbooked its dorm rooms and students were forced to live in a large office-like space where the standard dorm furniture functions as the walls and outline of a room.
While Purdue students online were outraged at the living conditions, the reality is that admitting more students than there are dorm spaces is a common problem that appears to have existed since at least the 80s. As some students have found out, Texas State is no different.
While students were sent an email that indicated they may be placed in temporary housing, it was not until they arrived from their break to check into their dorm found themselves being told there was no more available space and that they would be moved into temporary housing.
Most of these students are moved into either Resident Assistant’s rooms or into the study rooms on each floor of certain dorms. For students living in study rooms, they will also have a converted guest bathroom to use as a private bathroom until they move out. The Department of Housing and Residential Life also struck a deal with The Local, an apartment complex, to house affected students for the semester.
This is completely unfair to students who show up expecting a new place to stay only to be stuck in a setting that they were not prepared for and will be likely uncomfortable living for a time. It also begs the question of how the university is choosing who would be selected to go to an apartment for a semester and who gets to be stuck in a study room waiting around.
Texas State is admitting a record number of freshmen students each year to the point where they now no longer have the capacity to house all these students. Combine this with a policy of forcing freshmen to live on campus and the problem is now one of Texas State’s own creation. It is all based on a greedy policy that allows the university to push more students through their own doors thus creating more revenue at the expense of its students.
The policy might have backfired on the university since they now have to cover the costs of not only the students who moved into The Local but also that of Resident Assistants, who are normally compensated with a free single room but are now being paid a small stipend for taking on temporary roommates.
While it is nice to believe those costs won’t somehow lead to rising tuition, it is hard to trust colleges on pricing anything. At the end of the day, this process of over admitting really is an inexcusable problem that places money in the pockets of the university at the expense of the students who are paying to go here and Texas State should look at both its admittance policy and freshmen living policy before this problem spirals out of control even further.
– Jordan Drake is a communications senior