Midnight fire alarms and resident hall assistants could become distant memories for a younger generation of Bobcats.
Limited spacing at university residence halls may allow students to live off campus earlier than current policy requires.
University officials are considering the possibility of allowing students to live off campus before they reach the necessary hours or age limit.
The current housing policy requires all students younger than 21 years of age or with less than 52 credit hours to live on campus.
Most freshmen and sophomores are not allowed to live off campus, unless they are living at home within a 60-mile radius of the university.
Joanne Smith, vice president of student affairs, said the freshman class continues to grow each year.
“We have had an increasing number of freshmen each year, so it does affect the number of spaces available for other students,” she said.
According to the Institutional Research Office, 3, 176 freshmen were enrolled at the university in fall 2006 and 2, 593 in the spring 2007. The number has grown since then to 4,728 freshmen in fall 2008.
Smith said the staff is watching the student enrollment growth closely.
“We are at a point where we are gathering data,” Smith said. “With the increasing number of freshmen coming in, we have to figure out how to handle that new pool of students.”
Natalie Bowman, exercise and sports science sophomore, thinks her class was one of the largest.
“I haven’t seen it affect me, but I can see how it could affect the sophomores still living on campus,” Bowman said.
She said the school needs to make changes to accommodate the growing amount of students.
“There isn’t enough room for anybody,” Bowman said. “Something has got to balance out — either less people in the school or build more dorms, or both.”
Smith said 23 halls are currently on campus, including Bobcat Village with 6,135 bed spaces. According to the Institutional Research Office, 3, 647 freshmen lived on campus fall 2007. A total of 3, 617 freshmen, 1, 766 sophomores and 479 juniors lived on campus in 2008. Few upperclassmen live in dorms or the university apartments, but there is a large concern for space at the university.
Texas State is not the only university to consider giving sophomores the option for off campus living. The University of Texas and Texas A&M allow students to live off campus their freshman year.
“It is a very complicated situation, so great care is being taken to decide the future of housing at Texas State,” Smith said.
Smith said every angle of the issue is being reviewed.
“We are taking a comprehensive review of the projected number of new students: The number of students still required to live on campus and the number of students who are not required to live on campus but who want to,” Smith said.
Kori Degnan, interdisciplinary studies freshman, said the current housing policy should allow sophomores off campus.
“I think after you are done with your freshman year you should be able to leave (campus),” Degnan said.
However, she said the environment on campus does allow upperclassmen to live in dorms with more privacy.
“I think it would be better (allowing sophomores off campus),” Degnan said. “I think after freshman year, once you get used to the college environment, you should be able to pick where you live. It should all be off campus after a freshman, but living here (San Jacinto Hall) with my own room makes it easier.”