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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Students wait for fall housing

    Two weeks before students move in, construction crews are finishing up their work on the Arizona-Sonora Residence Hall. Residence halls around campus are beginning preparation for students moving in for the school year.
    Two weeks before students move in, construction crews are finishing up their work on the Arizona-Sonora Residence Hall. Residence halls around campus are beginning preparation for students moving in for the school year.

    Officials at Residence Life said 208 students that were guaranteed campus housing have yet to be assigned a room, while an additional 266 student applicants were placed on a waiting list with no guarantee to be placed into a residence hall.

    The 208 students that are guaranteed housing who did not receive room assignments will be placed in temporary housing until there are vacancies, said Steve Gilmore, the assistant director of Housing Assignment Services in Residence Life.

    Students in temporary housing typically reside in a resident assistant’s room until a vacancy allows the student to move, which can last anywhere from a few days to the whole fall semester, as has happened in the past, said Jim Van Arsdel, the director of Residence Life.

    Residence Life currently estimates about 60 to 65 students will be placed in temporary housing this year, which is in correlation to their estimate of no-shows to the residence hall check-ins, Van Arsdel said.

    “”Every number we deal with is a guess. Now that it is three weeks (until check-in) we hope our guesses are closer, but we have been guessing since October,”” Van Arsdel said.

    Students that are placed in temporary housing will be given vacant spots as residents leave the university because of evictions, homesickness and other reasons, Van Arsdel said.

    Adam Grochowski, a material sciences and engineering senior, who had a student live with him for six days when he was a resident assistant in Hopi Lodge, described his situation as inconvenient but not altogether bad.

    “”It really depends on where you are at,”” Grochowski said. “”I was in Hopi, but if I were in Coronado and I had just checked in 800 people and then I would have to deal with a roommate, it would have been exhausting.””

    Grochowski said that if Residence Life didn’t overbook the residence halls to guarantee maximum occupancy, then resident assistants’ benefits would be lowered, such as the amount of money put on their meal plans, to compensate for the monetary loss.

    The other 266 students that are not guaranteed housing in a residence hall applied after June 9, Residence Life’s cut-off date for guaranteed housing, but were put on a waiting list and were advised to consider pursuing off-campus options, Van Arsdel said.

    “”We have not been able to accommodate anyone on the list yet, and I am not sure we will be able to accommodate anyone,”” Van Arsdel said.

    Along with getting students situated for their fall housing assignments, Residence Life is also preparing the residence halls for the upcoming school year with both construction and maintenance.

    “”In any given year, there is a tremendous amount of work done during the summer,”” Van Arsdel said.

    This summer, both Arizona-Sonora and Manzanita-Mojave residence halls are under construction, while the rest of the residence halls underwent minor repairs, Van Arsdel said.

    Arizona-Sonora is undergoing changes in the plumbing of the bathrooms on the Sonora side of the building, along with reconstruction of the first floor, including the lobby, said Melissa Dryden, the senior program coordinator of Facilities Design and Construction.

    “”The first floor has long been an incredible eyesore in an important part of the building,”” Van Arsdel said.

    The reconstruction on the first floor will include a new front desk, new mailboxes, CatCard door access and a collection of cardio-fitness machines on the Arizona side, Van Arsdel said.

    Katie Bokamper, an elementary education sophomore, said she liked the idea of adding exercise machines to the residence hall – as long as they are available to all students.

    “”It should not be restricted to just the residents in that dorm. If it wasn’t, it would be really cool,”” Bokamper said.

    Residence Life will also be installing closed-circuit television cameras in common areas throughout the residence hall because of an upswing in vandalism in the past few years and to avoid charging every resident for the destruction, Van Arsdal said.

    “”Installing camera in Coronado was a strong statement to students that vandalism was a costly mistake,”” Van Arsdel said.

    Georgina Lopez, a UA alumna, said she thinks the only benefit of the cameras is that students might be caught in the act.

    “”Violence and vandalism always happen,”” Lopez said. “”People don’t think about it, they just do it.””

    The construction in Manzanita-Mojave this summer included the replacement of fan-coil units, which provide both heating and cooling to each room, Van Arsdale said.

    The construction for both Arizona-Sonora and Manzanita-Mojave is expected to be finished within the week and all residence halls will be occupied this school year, Van Arsdel said.

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