Enrollment increase limits housing

With the tremendous increase of students wanting to live on campus last school year, the university is accommodating everyone this year by renting space in off-campus apartments.

Photo by Andrew Smith

The off-campus housing provided to students by the university is considered tied into campus.

Chancellor Richard Telfer said in previous years the overflow of housing needs on campus was due to the increased enrollment. It has forced some students to live in residence hall lounges and basement study rooms.

“Lounges are supposed to be there for other purposes so we really prefer not to have people living in lounges,” Telfer said.

Residence Life Director Frank Bartlett said the residence halls have been overly-crowded for years, making the accommodations this year much easier.

Housing on campus tight this semester due to the refurbishing of one of the residence halls, Telfer said.

“What we wanted to do was replace the housing that would have been in that residence hall by having places that are off campus, but still on campus,” Telfer said.

Parts of Fox Meadows and Cambridge Apartments are leased out by the university. Between 200 and 300 students are currently living in the apartments through the university system.

“I don’t think it’s fair that some underclassmen are living off campus because they are probably given some sort of cost reduction,” senior Lauren Petroske said. “The whole part of being an underclassmen is living in the dorms to get that experience from people.”

John Witte, the assistant complex director of Cambridge and Fox Meadows Apartments, said the students who live there through the university are paying different rates than those who live in the residence halls on campus.

The students still must fill out a university housing contract and are assigned to resident assistants on their floor.

Room rates for students living at the two apartments through the university system are comparable to the Starin Hall suite prices, Telfer said.

“It’s taking away some of that off campus housing for people that live in the city and are out of the dorms,” junior Sara Rogers said.

Telfer said it’s not his first choice having sophomores live off campus because of the “good programming” provided to first and second year students.

With enrollment at it’s highest 11,615 students this fall, Telfer said he hopes class sizes aren’t being affected too greatly.

“We were able to add some instructional positions this year for the fall so that should address the increase that we had from last year to this year in students,” Telfer said.

Telfer said he sees the record enrollment as a positive thing for UW-Whitewater, regardless of the housing changes this year.

“I see it as people are interested in us. They want to be here, that’s good,” Telfer said.