Campus Life has been working overtime to relocate the remaining 65 Cornell students living in temporary housing to permanent housing.
As of now, there are 20 male students living in lounges in the High Rises on North Campus, and 45 living in temporary housing in the University Halls on West Campus. The West housing includes doubles which were transferred to triples and rooms that were originally study areas.
All female students have been transferred to permanent housing. This task was easier to accomplish since there were a greater number of “no shows” for accepted females, according to Patrick Savolskis, manager of housing and dining for Campus Life.
Having more students than available housing is not a new problem. “We have had temporary housing for the last several years,” said Susan Murphy ’73, vice president for student and academic services.
Nor is this year’s housing situation the worst it has ever been, stated Murphy.
“What happened was that the University received two percent more [matriculating students] than they had expected for the freshman class,” Savolskis said.
“By the first of May, we usually do the bulk of the housing,” said Savolskis. “Admissions expected a freshman class of 2700 and ended with an additional 300 plus [students].”
“We were forced to use lounges to accommodate the students, which has always been the back-up to the back-up plan,” added Savolskis.
Those students in temporary housing either failed to meet the May 1 deadline for housing or were “walk-ins” at registration.
According to Savolskis, there is no specific individual or office to blame for the overcrowding.
“Unfortunately, there is no magic formula of figuring out how many students will decide to come to Cornell,” said Savolskis.
Murphy noted the positive side of having a greater yield than expected. “It means that more people are interested in Cornell and that our position in the marketplace is bigger.”
For the sixty-five students still in temporary housing, the future remains unknown. Campus Life is trying as hard as they can to get these students in permanent housing, but it takes time, said Savolskis.
Ongwei Yeo ’04 stated that he is anxious to be relocated from the lounge in Jameson to a permanent room. “I slowly got used to the situation, but I am eager to leave. We are living out of our suitcases and we just got one ethernet connection last week.”
Savolskis noted that there are a few cases where the students would like to stay in the temporary housing. “In some instance, there are students who do not want to move. Why would a student want to move from a lounge which is now private?”
Matthew Kusulas ’03, a resident advisor in Jameson Hall, understands the unwillingness of students to move. “The primary problem in temporary housing is that the students will have to resettle in communities they are unfamiliar with. It would be one thing if a student could go to another room in a High Rise dorm, but there are no available rooms here.”
Scott Helfrich, a residence hall director of the Transfer Center, said that all the students who were removed from his dorm are “still valuable members of the community here [at the Transfer Center].”
While there has been no deadline set for the relocation of the students remaining in temporary housing, Savolskis hopes that the housing problem will be solved as soon as possible.
“As for next year, admissions will be careful and more conservative in the enrollment process,” said Murphy. If there is a problem next year with overcrowding, Murphy added, “there will also be alternate plans made in order to have all freshman living on North Campus.”.
Archived article by Jamie Yonks