By Chloe Brown
The first thought on most people’s minds when they think of college is packing up their bags and moving to a new place. Residence Life offers students a change to live close to campus and expertise the thrill of living on their own without all the adult responsibilities that follow.
Each year, hundreds of students flock to the dorms, but in recent semesters, it’s started to become a squeeze. The last two years have been the most packed with 612 residents this year and around 582 last year. Mark Center has commented that the fall semester is always the toughest, due to so many people coming into the new semester hoping to room, but in the spring the level of residents drops down 8%. This has to do with students graduating or deciding that school just isn’t for them.
Resident Life is offered to both undergrads and grad students; which would make someone think that there would be trouble rooming everyone who wants to live on campus. However, Mark Center has been proud to say that he has never turned away anyone who wants to live on campus. There are creative ways to solve the overflow of students like adding in bunk beds and putting beds in the lounges in Providence Hall. There is this understanding in the resident office that there will always be last minute cancellations. Center comments that rooming students is like playing “Human Tetris”: find a room for a student until someone else decides they don’t want to live on campus, and normally there always is.
As most people know that the most incoming students are freshmen. In recent years the Lake has had as high as 674 freshmen come in each semester. With the abundance of incoming freshmen, some might wonder if having a resident hall for upperclassmen might create a housing shortage. However, having a resident hall only for upperclassmen has satisfied that demand, leaving more room for the freshmen in the other resident halls. Each year there will be a few of the upperclassmen dorms left over, but there are always cancellations or other types of affairs. However, the rooms never go wasted. There are students who decide that commuting just wasn’t for them and are able to snatch up a room before they are all gone.
In some ways that they have dealt with the over flow of residents was offer two different places to live: the convent, and the MACC (Mexican American Catholic College). Currently there are 13 women living in the convent. That’s 13 people that might have not been able to accommodate if those rooms were unavailable. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to have.” Center says.
However not all opportunities were ceased. Unfortunately the chance to live in MACC was terminated when there wasn’t enough interest shown in living there. “Students like the [idea] of being right on campus. Not two minutes away.” Center explained. While they were not able to house people at the MACC, Center and the rest of the resident staff have always found places for people to live.
The overflow of students is creating a demand for a new resident hall. The dorms were full last year. So a new resident hall is just what the Lake might need. While Center was unable to comment on the email sent around the school last year about creating a new dorm, he did mention that those decisions are still on going and are progressing well. It’s safe to say that as of now with the current options for dorms, all the residency needs are being filled. However if the Lake keeps multiplying the number of incoming students, there may be a need to take action because resident life is already busting at the seams.