FSU Has Highest Enrollment Yet; Residence Halls Overcrowded

Frostburg State University (FSU) has enrolled the largest number of students this year and is continuing to grow.

The growth within the university is a great thing, but some may say that it creates some issues such as overcrowded residence halls, which approximately house up to 1,600 students in the traditional halls (i.e. Annapolis, Cambridge, Diehl, Fredrick, West Hall, etc.) and about 400 students in Edgewood Commons each year.

Probably what the students at FSU and others are questioning is, what are they doing to solve this? FSU’s Residence Life Office and President Gibralter are taking the initiative to build a new residence hall so that all students will be housed without what some may view as a “conflict,” but there are some obstacles before that can happen.

Director of Residence Life, Dana Severance has been working at FSU for 19 years. Severance says there are standards rooms which include singles, doubles, and triples to house the students that apply for housing or university by deadline. For the students who applied late and all of the spaces for rooms were filled, then there are temporary rooms, which are the lounges in the high-rise dorms.

“These lounges can house up to four students and include three closets,” says Severance. Since there are “more requests than those who actually come,” Severance says, “When students don’t show up for housing [and there are students who applied at the last minute], we allow our lounges to be used as flexible spaces.”

As you may be aware that Cambridge Hall is a dorm of singles, but to accommodate students without rooms yet, Residence Life are doubling them [single rooms]. The quadrants are also being used as temporaries. There are eight single spaces per floor, which leaves approximately 64 spaces.

As of right now there are four students still in the Cambridge temporaries, but have been moved to the first floor so that renovations can continue since it [Cambridge Hall] is next on the list. Though this is indeed an “inconvenience to the students,” as Severance mentions, the students will not be without a room.

Residence Life will not give away a student’s room, but to make sure those still in need of placement will be placed in a temporary room until they are sure that a student who did not show up is not coming to the university.

There are approximately 40 flexible spaces for the students who applied late. If the rooms in the traditional dorms are filled, then these students will be housed in these flexible spaces. Severance says, “We try our best to accommodate late arrivals and give people suitable rooms.”

The temporary rooms are much larger than the traditional triples and gives students a lot more space. Although they are not housed in a standard room right away, Residence Life tries their best to make sure every student has a bed to sleep on.

Severance wants to let the students on campus to know that “there is a plan” for new residence halls, but it must be approved by the state. To be more specific he says, “We have to convince and justify” to the Board of Regions of the University of Maryland System why it is necessary for new residence halls.

President Gibralter and Severance are approaching this situation from two angles. The first angle is to explain that FSU is a “growing university” and more space is needed to house the students who are not local. The second angle is to explain that the current residence halls need to be newer, renovated, and up-to-date.

Severance explains that “it will take time” for the state to approve the construction of new residence halls, but they will continue to make renovations to the dorms until the state does so.
Severance acknowledges the needs for more housing for students and he states, “The president is doing a good job on trying to build new residence halls.”

With students graduating, transferring, and unfortunately dropping out of the university, Severance says “there will definitely be more than enough room for students in the Spring semester. “It is only the matter of the fall semester,” says Severance.

Until the Board of Regents approve and grant the university permission to build new residence halls, the renovations will continue and students will have to be aware of the room assignment deadlines and not wait until the last minute to do so.

It is important to acknowledge the efforts of President Gibralter and Residence Life Director, Dana Severance.
For more information on student housing, please contact Dana Severance at DSeverance@frostburg.edu.

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