September 26, 2018 | ° F

More than 250 students still without housing

An end to the University housing shortage, caused by increased admission acceptance and more returning students requesting on-campus living this semester, is nowhere in sight.

Out of the 500 students that did not receive campus housing in August, roughly 150 students are still living in the Crowne Plaza hotel in Franklin, N.J. and approximately 110 students continue to occupy various residence hall lounges on the New Brunswick and Piscataway campuses, said Joan Carbone, executive director of Residence Life. But the University Inn and Conference Center, which housed 26 students, has been vacated completely.

Carbone said students are being relocated to permanent housing as more spaces become available on campus, and thinks all students will have housing assignments by Thanksgiving.

"Obviously some students do withdraw from school but the first large group of people were no shows — people who said they were coming [to the University] and never came," she said. "That's not an unusual thing. So the largest group of these cancellations was no shows."

Crowne Plaza Hotel Housing Director Brett Kociol said several students were placed in permanent housing at the beginning of the semester and numbers have dwindled in recent weeks.

"At first, we were moving them out by the busload," Kociol said. "As of now, it seems to have slowed down significantly, which makes sense in light of the fact there were probably a lot of students that didn't show up [at the beginning of the semester]. I assume most of the openings were from students who, for whatever reason, had to leave their halls."

To help free up further space on campus, Residence Life is now allowing any students on campus to cancel their contracts at any time, for whatever reason, Carbone said.

"Normally, we would not accept cancellations on a housing contract but right now, there's a no questions asked, come in and cancel your housing and we'll accept your cancellation," she said. "We have accepted whatever cancellations that have come our way."

Carbone said students were not moved out of the hotel in any particular order at first, but are now being relocated based on students who wish to leave as soon as possible and those who want to stay.

"We told all the students that if they felt particularly miserable over there that we wanted to help them," she said. "We have two lists — a list of people that would gladly be the last people in there and we have people who are very miserable and want out of there as soon as possible."

School of Arts and Sciences sophomore Rachel Adair said she disliked living at the hotel and was given permanent housing the day she wrote a complaint.

"I had originally had the roommate from hell so I wrote an e-mail and said ‘I can't live here anymore, this is ridiculous,' … later on that day, there was a letter on my door that said you've been placed in Henderson [Apartments]," Adair said.

Kociol said a meeting held at the hotel two weeks ago with Residence Life employees and hotel residents gave light that certain students, like Adair, were unhappier than others, which is when Carbone began compiling the lists.

"I think most of the people that really wanted to move out of here have been given the opportunity and most of the people that would prefer just to stay are still here," Kociol said.

Caitlin Mahon

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