By Adam Baker/News editor

Crowded elevators, busy bathrooms and a wait to do laundry can mean only one thing – residence hall head counts are up. The Office of Enrollment Management is projecting an increase in enrollment by nearly 400 students compared to last year. With the number of students trekking across “The Campus Beautiful” on the rise, so is the number of students opting to call one of Eastern’s residence halls home.

Housing and Resident Life Director Kenna Middleton stated housing numbers are up about 170 students over last year.

“(The increase) made our initial assignment process a bit tight as we got to opening day but we – with our overflow spaces – were able to get everyone in,” she said.

Middleton said she owes this year’s success to early planning.

“We look at enrollment projections and we also look at what our returning student base for housing looks like,” she said. “This year our returning student numbers are up.”

When Housing saw they would be gaining students this year, they immediately took action.

“We begin preparing for insuring that all will have a room in a fall term by limiting privates or even eliminating new privates during the room changes period in the spring for the following fall,” she said. “We’ll also look at where overflow housing could be located.”

Middleton noted another factor that allowed all students to get into a room was the decision to assign students to rooms located on the top floor of Keene Hall.

“We did re-occupy the top floor of Keene which had been utilized last year as office space for some members of the faculty and staff from the College of Justice and Safety,” she said.

The number of students not showing up for their assigned spots helped curve housing pressures as well, Middleton explained.

“At the check in deadline last year we had 248 students that simply did not show up,” she said. “This year that number was only 127 (students).”

Middleton attributed the decrease in “no shows” to the fact students were contacted several times over the summer regarding their upcoming move.

“Several contacts were made with students prior to the semester beginning, including a post card from Housing reminding to cancel housing if appropriate,” she said. “Letters from the Residence Hall Coordinator and ultimately calls to all first year students helped too.”

Despite Housing’s best efforts to get students into a permanent residence, Middleton said she did have to use temporary housing.

“We did have to put about 60 students into overflow housing but we have been able to get most of those folks into permanent assignments at this point,” she said.

Even with the high demands for housing, Middleton stated private rooms would still be offered this year.

“We are offering privates, however, since space is pretty limited, it makes the ability to get a private somewhat limited as well,” she said. “We are going to process our consolidation information and will continue to try to get roommates together or offer privates as space becomes available.”

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