Housing a crowd

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Incoming freshmen Taalor Owens, left, moves her belongings to her room on the 18th floor of Stark Hall at Texas Woman's University with the help of orientation leader Lupita Renteria on Wednesday.
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UNT, TWU campuses accommodate more than 100 students in overflow

Campus buzz is returning to Texas Woman’s University and the University of North Texas this week, as students havestarted to move back on campus. 

At TWU, students returned on Wednesday and Thursday. Meanwhile, at UNT, members of student organizations have started moving in early with official move-in scheduled for 8 a.m. Saturday. 

For both campuses, however, it is a little crowded,as both have more than 100 students in overflow — meaning more students than planned beds — caused by students who sign up for housing late. 

To accommodate late enrollment, both campuses began adding students to rooms, turning them into triples instead of doubles, and have placed students with resident assistants, who typically live alone. For UNT,about 30 male students will be placed at the Comfort Suites at UNT until on-campus spaces are available, said Elisabeth Warren, senior director of housing at UNT. 

“The men at the Comfort Inn could be there all semester, and we’ll start tripling them back as we lose some enrollment,”Warren said. “If they’re a first-time-in-college male, we are still trying toget them on campus, not in a hotel. We get a couple of cancellations every day,and we’re just trying to find every space we can to get them on campus.” 

Some students at TWU still do not have housing assignments and won’t know where they will be placed until they arrive on campus, said Richard Nicholas, vice president of student life. These were the last students to enroll. 

“We give them an assignment when they actually show up. But, because of those dominoes, we try not to make assignments that will keep changing,” he said. “If at the last minute we hear someone is not coming,it’s like dominoes — one might come out of a triple, and then a latecomer goes in that spot.” 

A similar situation happened last year for UNT, and most resident assistants had another student in their room, Warren said. With the construction of a new residence hall on the board now, scheduled to open in fall 2015, she said the overflow will be alleviated. 

Despite the overflow, the two largest move-in days for TWU went smoothly, Nicholas said. Faculty, staff and students volunteered to help unload cars and hand out water, and one day a lunch buffet was set up for students and parents.

“That makes it a little easier, so people aren’t quite on their own so much and they know what to do,” he said. “It’s gone very well. We were able to balance the two days a little better instead of such a large group today. It’s always hectic.” 

While some students have started moving in at UNT,the big move-in day is Saturday, when most of the first-time students will movein starting at 8 a.m., Warren said. They too will have water stations, about200 volunteers, as well as large bins to help transport belongings from cars to dorms. 

“This is just a really fun time for our staff. Wespent a lot of time preparing for this and have trained for a few weeks. So Saturday, when we open our doors, it’s truly a joyful event for my staff,” she said. “It’s tiring, but it’s joyful.”

Students will continue to move in up through Tuesday night, Warren estimated, as classes at UNT start Wednesday. At TWU, Nicholas estimated the older students would move in through the weekend, before Monday classes. 

“We’re just looking forward to having all of them here and getting classes started again,” he said. 

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and viaTwitter at @JennaFDuncan.

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