Minnesota State’s residence halls have implemented a waitlist for interested students. The five communities are at full capacity for the first time since COVID restrictions were in place for campus living.
Director of Residential Life Cindy Janney said she is optimistic about what the need for a housing waitlist means for campus culture.
“This feels better. COVID was hard on everybody. COVID was hard on CAs, it was really hard on hall directors,” said Janney.
Maverick Insider, a newsletter run by the Centennial Student Union, stated there are over 100 students on the waitlist, but according to Janney, the availability and demand for housing will constantly shift throughout the fall semester. While on the waitlist, Residential Life will suggest off-campus options.
“It’s an ongoing process — what cancellations have come in, what spaces are now available, and who’s on the waitlist that we can offer a space to. For example, if it’s a space where the roommate is a man, and the person on the waitlist is a woman, then we aren’t offering that person a space,” Janney said.
Despite the waitlist, Res Life is ensuring current residents receive their desired living arrangements. Unlike other universities across the country, dorm rooms designed for two are not being filled with three students, according to Janney.
Students on the waitlist will also not be placed in more expensive room types than requested when possible. “When the space we have available IS more expensive than the student’s request, and the student asks for a lower-priced room, we prioritize moving the student to the lower-priced room,” Janney relayed from residential staff.
While the freshman class of 2027 is not larger than last year’s record-breaking size, MSU’s current freshman class makes up most of the resident hall population. “We tend to see them [returning students] moving to single rooms,” Janney said.
Despite the higher costs associated with on-campus living, the residence halls provide a convenient experience for MSU students, even upperclassmen. Henry Bowring-Mcdonough is a senior anthropology and Spanish double major who has lived in Preska, McElroy and Stadium Heights.
While many returning students find accommodations off-campus, Bowring-Mcdonough stayed in residential life for a convenient and stress-free experience after his semester abroad.
“I didn’t want to try and find a mid-year lease, or deal with paying rent, or anything like that. I lived in campus housing abroad, too, so it felt like the easy choice,” he said.
Bowring-Mcdonough also noted the difference in a post-quarantine campus.
“My freshman year started in the fall of 2020 when things were a lot scarier. I just put on a Galactic Bingo with my co-lead Katie Stewart and our team of amazing volunteers from the Student Events Team and Fraternity and Sorority Life this past Saturday. I don’t think I could’ve imagined even going to something like that in 2020. I’m very proud of how far we’ve come and how different everything feels.”
Header Photo: Over Welcome Week, Residential Life helped students pack the dorm halls which are at full capacity. (Dominic Bothe/The Reporter)
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