, Director of Housing and Residential Life, discusses how she is responding to Texas State’s growing population and what effects the student increase will have on campus living.
JC: If any new dorms are built, what kind of accommodations can we expect them to have?
RP: We just broke ground on a brand new building, and it will have 578 beds. It will be for freshmen, some sophomores, juniors and seniors. There will be two adjoining rooms, so it’ll have two double bedrooms and a bathroom in between. We’re now planning the next building and two more after that, and those will all be traditional-style residence halls. We will not be building any apartments.
JC: How is your department responding to the increase in student population?
RP: Well, for one thing, we did away with the sophomore requirement to live on campus. At one time, you had to live on campus as a freshman and as a sophomore. Two years ago we finally eliminated the requirement altogether because we don’t have enough housing to guarantee housing for all of those people. I think most people agree freshman year is the year you want to have a requirement. It’s the year you come to campus, kind of get your bearings, have lots of people around you who are also getting their bearings. So, it’s “misery loves company” almost. That’s why we’re focused so much on freshmen.
JC: Will the Loop 82 Overpass Project make it difficult for students to live on campus?
RP: I think in the long run, the Loop 82 Overpass is going to be the best thing since sliced bread. I think there will be some inconveniences that will occur during the construction, but we’re experiencing inconveniences throughout the City of San Marcos and throughout the campus in order for us to eventually get to the place where we’re all going to have a better experience. So, I think it will be a good thing.
JC: Considering the lack of parking spaces for students on campus, do you think it would be a good idea to let some freshmen live off campus someday?
RP: No, because I still have to fill all the beds. The answer isn’t to let students live off campus. If you look at other universities across the country, parking is a significant issue that everyone deals with. It’s not just here at Texas State. And if you were to look at the University of Texas, what do they pay for parking? Students who live on campus pay a huge amount of money. And they’re not close to their halls at all. So, we’ve got some struggles, we’ve got some issues that we’ve got to get resolved, and I know that (Transportation Services) is working very hard at coming up with some different options and solutions for the future.