"Overload Spaces" Created
This is a photo of a room shared by four students in Belk Hall.
With NC Promise bringing an increase of first year students, many departments on campus have had to adapt to the new changes. According to new records, housing has seen an increase in first year students - putting a strain on the fall housing process. According to the UNCP website, compared to fall of 2017, UNCP has seen a “14 percent increase” with a “surge of some 885 additional students”. “Overload spaces” were created to help alleviate some of the surge of first year students had on housing. Belk transformed its 4 community lounge areas into a space which 5 people would be sleeping to occupy the high demand for on campus housing. Some residents have even had to move in with their resident advisors - who typically have single rooms. “These aren’t typically your traditional dorm rooms,” Director of Housing and Residence Life Paul Posener said. These assignments would not be temporary as most of residents who were living in these spaces are slowly moving out and into other assignments, according to Housing and Residence Life. When asked about how she would describe this living arrangement Tiyana Stephens described it as “Unique” and “Interesting." “Move in day was already terrible,” said Mikayla. “Then we get here up here and its three etar beds. We’re just like, ‘what’s going on?’ I feel like I deserve some type of compensation. I was so angry. I still am angry because they really played us. That was not okay.” First year students are required to live on campus unless they sign a waiver specifying a reason why they do not need on campus housing, such as spousal arraignments or children. Due to this fact, upperclassmen have also felt the effects of the surge in new students. Some upperclassmen have had to be turned away to look for other housing options such as off campus housing because there wasn’t enough space. “We’re approaching our limit for how many we can carry on campus and off campus,” Posener said. The approval of waivers for the first year residency requirement has increased since housing has limited spaces for returning students. The overload spaces happened to be a precaution of having on campus housing at full occupancy over the summer. “Students who are involved on campus and live on campus typically do better in their classwork, so we want as many people on campus as possible,” Posener said.
Credits: Photo by Tyana Morris, Photo Editor