Housing still limited after construction of new residence halls

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Richards Hall, a brand new residence hall, opened its doors to students for the first time this semester. Photo by Heesoo Yang.

Finding on-campus housing for students is becoming more difficult as the number of incoming first-year students continues to increase.

Even though new residence halls have been built to accommodate students, some still find themselves living in forced triples and lounges converted into bedrooms.

Craig Allen, the director of housing and residence life, said cramped housing situations happen because more students enrolled into the university than were expected.

The 2018 first-year class had nearly 2,200 students, more than TCU’s estimation of 2,000-2,050 students, according to TCU Housing and Residence Life.

“Last year, we had a lot of students living in triples and lounges that we hadn’t planned for,” Allen said. “This year we planned for 2,160 freshmen and there are 2,159 freshmen.” 

Even with a closer estimate this semester, Allen said many students are still living in triples and converted lounges because of how large last year’s first-year class was. 

Allen said three hundred beds were added to Richards and Arnold Halls to accommodate sophomores, but that still doesn’t provide relief.

While space is limited, some first-year students have found ways to make the living situation work. 

First-year student Alex Caron said living in a triple can create some space constraints, but it’s not a huge problem as long as you create clear boundaries. 

A standard triple courtesy in Waits Hall. Photo courtesy of Alex Caron.

“One of the most important aspects to making the living situation work is just being courteous of your roommates’ schedules and personal space,” Caron said. 

Unlike most universities, TCU requires both first and second-year students to live on campus.

Requiring two years of on-campus living creates some problems for the students in triples and lounges, but Allen said he believes the positives outweigh the negatives. 

“Our retention is very good from freshman to sophomore year,” Allen said. “There are a lot of reasons why we want to keep students involved and connected to the institution. It just makes sense.”

Rachel Nguyen, a sophomore at TCU, said she has enjoyed living on campus because of the added benefits.

“As a sophomore, I think it’s kind of nice because you don’t have to worry about rent, appliances and living on your own,” Nguyen said.

Another perk to living on campus is the fact that off-campus housing can oftentimes be more expensive, according to Allen, who collects data from local apartment complexes and houses available for rent.

“A low estimate is about $1,200 per month, and that doesn’t include utilities and other things. I could probably say that $1,400 is more accurate,” Allen said.

TCU housing is still limited, but Allen said there are currently no plans to build more residence halls.