Dorm residents overflow to lounges, study rooms

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    Barbara Herman, associate vice chancellor for student affairs (center), answers a question posed by an audience member at the town hall meeting Wednesday in the Brown-Lupton Student Center. The other panelists are Catherine Wehlburg, director of the Center for Teaching Excellence (left), and Andy Fort, chairman of the Faculty Senate.
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    Demand for on-campus housing has exceeded supply, forcing Residential Services to accommodate students in lounges and study rooms in residence halls for the second year in a row.

    Craig Allen, director of Residential Services, said an increasing demand for on-campus housing has been a trend for the past few years.

    “More appealing buildings are on campus, causing students to want to live here,” he said.

    The university introduced a policy last fall requiring freshman and sophomore students to live on campus.

    Allen said TCU’s priority is to accommodate all freshmen on campus. Residential Services offered 14 students who had signed up to live in Waits Hall the choice to live at the Grand Marc to open up spaces on campus for the incoming freshmen, he said.

    “TCU guarantees that any student who applies before May 1 will have campus housing,” he said.

    Allen said the 14 relocated students have at least sophomore standing. He said the students received a call from Residential Services staff informing them of the option to move into the Grand Marc at the price of living in Waits Hall. TCU will pay for the students’ utilities, but parking at the Grand Marc is an expense the university will not cover, he said.

    TCU has leased 14 rooms at the Grand Marc until December, when Residential Services will re-evaluate the students’ housing arrangements, Allen said. A resident assistant is living at the Grand Marc to facilitate the transition from campus housing to the Grand Marc.

    Marcus Martin, resident services manager at the Grand Marc, said TCU and the apartment complex are collaborating to ensure students will not be at a disadvantage for living in the Grand Marc.

    “This is a way we could help out during a time when TCU had more students than it had space for,” Martin said.

    Freshmen students are also living in lounges in Waits, Colby, Brachman and Moncrief halls. Students will move into other freshmen dorm rooms as they become available, such as when incoming freshmen who signed up for housing end up not attending TCU or decide to commute from home, said Heather Miller, assistant director of Residence Life.

    Sara Alderman, an international marketing major, is one of four freshmen living in a Brachman lounge. She said she was shocked when she moved in and realized her room was equipped with two vending machines and a pool table.

    Miller said the vending machines would be removed as soon as possible.

    “The pool table will stay because we are hoping these students will be able to move out soon,” Miller said.

    Alderman said Residential Services staff told her she could be living in the lounge anywhere between two weeks and the entire semester.

    “I’m OK with it now that the vending machines are gone,” she said.