SIU: Housing Shortage Almost Fixed

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By Sam Jones
By Andy Shofstall

JACKSON COUNTY-- Most SIU students, placed in double and triple rooms to start the semester, now have a permanent place to call home.

After a near-record breaking freshman enrollment, the university didn't have enough space in its dorms.

Freshman were assigned rooms on a first come- first served basis, which meant those who signed up this summer had more roommates than usual.

"It's really about getting creative in where to put a bed temporarily," said Steven Yeagley with university housing.

To place 100 extra students, the university turned single rooms turned into doubles, doubles to triples, and lounges converted to quads.

Freshman Julian Green was impacted. He's moved twice already, and lived with two roommates in one double room.

"It was kinda hard to adjust, but we managed," he said.

Green's original room had a bunk bed and one twin. It was tough to move around, but now he's in a regular double.

"I can actually take my stuff out of my boxes and suitcases instead of packing," added Green.

The same goes for Mihalo Shestoich. He's relieved to live in a traditional double now.

"It was kinda hard. It was basically space fights," Shestoich explained.

Yeagley said there were more opportunities for disagreements. The university prepared with extra training for staff.

"It is that typical roommate mediation when there is an issue. Trying to prevent it from being two against one," said Yeagley.

As SIU fixes this year's housing troubles, they look to the future.

"A lot of students there's a lot of attention to where they're gonna live, the new place they're gonna call home," he said.

New residence halls are in the works, where the triads used to be. They're slated to open in the fall of 2016.

For now, Yeagley's found many students enjoy living in the "overassigned housing".

"Based on some of the relationships they've formed, actually the longer they've been in the space the less they want to leave it" enthused Yeagley.

All but 14 freshman are now out of the temporary housing setup. The rest should be moved by the end of the semester.
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