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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Residence Life opens more rooms for students

    There is no longer a shortage of residence hall living spaces because a large number of students moved out of their on-campus housing a month into the school year.

    Due to overbooking of residence halls, students were temporarily placed in double-booked rooms, residence assistants’ rooms and on-campus guest apartments at the start of classes in late August, said Patrick Call, acting director of Residence Life.

    Since then, 37 residents have checked out of their dorm rooms in addition to the students who never moved in to their reserved dorm rooms, resulting in 59 vacant on-campus spots. Students no longer reside in temporary housing, including study lounges, said Steve Gilmore, associate director of Residence Life.

    “”This is a normal process Residence Life goes through every year,”” Call said.

    Residence Life also had to accommodate applications from the overwhelming number of people requesting assignments in residence halls on Highland Avenue this year, Gilmore said. Out of the 8,000 housing applications, about 7,000 named a Highland Avenue residence hall as a preference, Gilmore said.

    “”The residence halls on Highland (Avenue) are always pretty popular,”” he said. “”They’re right in the middle of campus, close to everything.””

    Although the process is not an unusual one for the UA, Call said this year’s initial results were magnified because of an increase in the number of housing applications accepted.

    “”The university asked us to go up 300 spots,”” he said. “”It all evened out, because we had a larger number of cancellations in the last week before class.””

    Over the course of the last month, students in temporary housing were moved into the vacant dorm rooms, Gilmore said, adding that the rest of the open rooms give students more options for the spring semester.

    Incoming students, and current students who want to live on-campus, can have the opportunity to be assigned to a hall, he said.

    Using past records concerning such factors as numbers of housing applications accepted, no-show residents and students who check out, Residence Life attempts to identify student behavior trends each year, Call said. They then use these trends to estimate how many students may still be living in residence halls three to four weeks into the fall semester.

    “”It’s somewhat of a guessing game,”” Gilmore said. “”We’re always trying to end up with the exact number of students in residence halls.””

    Amongst all the switching and new accommodations, student safety is the No. 1 priority, Gilmore said.

    “”What we have done since the beginning of the year, and continue to do, is ensure that security systems are in place,”” he added. “”We also have to make sure that students are properly educated about safety.””

    Such education is passed on to students through a program in which Residence Life teams up with the University of Arizona Police Department. A police liaison officer is assigned to each hall and becomes familiar with that hall and its residents, Call said.

    “”This helps people see them as people and police officers,”” he said.

    This year showed just how valuable Resident Life officials can be to students’ everyday lives, Call said.

    “”It just shows how resilient our students are,”” Call said. “”The RAs, the hall directors and the community in general have helped to move this year in a positive direction.””

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