The halls are almost completely full this year as Colorado State University welcomes a new class of freshmen, which is the largest in the school’s history.
The administration, however, says this level of capacity is not unusual. There are approximately 8,000 students living in the residence halls and apartments. According to CSU’s public relations website SOURCE, approximately 6,000 students moved into the on-campus residence halls on Aug. 16 and Aug. 17, and around 2,000 students live in the on-campus apartments.
According to Tonie Miyamoto, director of communications for Residence Life, the number of students living on campus is right where they want it to be. The difference this year is the greater number of non-freshmen students living on campus.
“We’ve been close to full each year, for the past several years,” Miyamoto said. “This year what we’ve found is more interest from returning and transfer students to live on campus, which we’re really excited about.”
The University considers this trend a success, since it has been trying to attract upperclassmen to live on campus for years, according to Miyamoto. Miyamoto said the recently finished and University-owned Aggie Village Apartment complex has proven popular with returning students, and there is currently a waitlist for any room in the complex.
While there are currently enough rooms for students on campus, over the summer registration and fall enrollment numbers exceeded the residence hall capacity.
According to Miyamoto, some transfer students, particularly late applicants who applied in June and July, were informed that space on campus was limited. Many of the housing requests came from students who eventually chose not to attend CSU, meaning that the University had enough space for incoming students by the time the fall semester began.
“Opening at 99 percent is ideal because it’s really close to 100 percent occupancy and nobody’s in overflow housing,” Miyamoto said. “It’s a good place to be.”
Corbett resident assistant Sam Swain, who is beginning her third year with the position, said she remembers having to house students without rooms in the past and was concerned they would have to do it again this year.
“We were worried students were going to be housed in basements or in lounges,” Swain said. “Thankfully, that never did actually happen, but I was told by residence life that was going to be a possibility. I’ve only ever seen it implemented one year.”
According to Swain, at the beginning of the year some students were still registered to live in these “alternative accommodations,” but enough rooms were available so it was not necessary. Swain said it is common for RAs to prepare for overflow housing every year, but ultimately they do not need it.
According to John Malsam, assistant director of operations for Residence Life, having dorms overbooked during the summer months is a common situation, though the University does not attempt to overbook dorms. According to Malsam, however, overbooked residences are a reality CSU needs to be aware of and prepare to handle.
Residence Life predicts that the number of students on campus will continue to rise in the future. According to the Denver Post, the class of 2021 is a record-breaker with 5,036 students, an increase of 5.6 percent over the previous largest class, the class of 2019.
Anticipating this increase, CSU plans to deconstruct Aylesworth Hall in the near future and construct a larger, community-style complex. The University eventually plans to do the same for Newsom Hall, according to Malsam.
“It’s nice to use the acreage of campus a little more efficiently,” Malsam said. “Laurel Village and Academic Village are a good example (of) where we can provide modest-sized buildings, but a few of them, so we can provide a good amount of space for student housing.”
Despite the growing numbers of on-campus residents, students such as freshmen Joe Geist and Hunter Hills would not describe the situation as crowded.
“It doesn’t feel crowded at all,” said Geist, a resident of Corbett Hall. Geist and Hills’s only complaint about Corbett was not related to the crowds, but rather the lack of air conditioning in the older residence hall. Maggie Marsh, a resident assistant from Allison Hall, agrees that the number of students on campus hasn’t changed the hall experience.
“I lived in Allison my first year, and it feels just as small to me as it did back then,” said Marsh. “In terms of population, Allison is a smaller hall anyway, so any change like that would probably just make it seem more normal to the residents.”
Freshmen Megan Johnston and Madi Rodgers had similar opinions about the situation in Newsom Hall, which houses approximately 400 students and is one of the oldest residence halls on campus.
Rather than thinking of the halls as crowded, they agree that the large number of students contributes to the sense of community.
“I think it’s nice to have a lot of people,” Rodgers said. “You get to just keep meeting new people every day… that’s a big reason as to why I choose CSU.”
When asked if she ever wished to live elsewhere on campus, Johnston responded she was content at Newsom.
“Sometimes I do (wish to live elsewhere),” Johnston said. “AC would be nice, but at the same time I really like everybody that I’m in the hall with. They’re all my really good friends now.”
Collegian news reporter Mason force can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @masforce1.