800 App State students search for housing after not being selected for on-campus housing

Anna Muckenfuss, Appalachian Weekly News Producer

After neighbors received an invitation to live on campus for the 2019-20 academic year, Torie Dera, a freshman psychology major, said she frantically called University Housing because she had not received an invitation herself.

Dera, Gardner Hall resident, said she applied for housing as soon as the application opened.

“I don’t really have the financial means to live off campus on my own,” Dera said.

Dera learned she would not have on-campus housing the week before spring break.

“It created a massive amount of difficulty because then we had to scramble to find an apartment,” Dera said. “We never had to find our own kind of housing, it created this massive amount of panic.”

Ian Drewery, Living Learning Center resident and freshman commercial photography major, said they applied for on-campus housing because they were not financially ready to live off campus.

“My parents and I both thought on-campus housing would be beneficial for at least two or three years of college,” Drewery said.

Drewery said the late notification made it difficult to find a place to live because many apartment complexes were full.

“I don’t have a car, so being on campus would have been a lot more convenient as far as getting to class and getting basic things like groceries and laundry done,” Drewery said. “It brought more financial concerns into my life.”

Current App State students reapplied for on-campus housing from Dec.1-Jan. 31 and received an invitation to live on campus via email in February, according to App State Housing. The University Housing Management System chooses students at random through an applicant pool.

Tom Kane, director of University Housing, said only 5,674 spaces are available on campus, and priority was given to the 3,700 incoming freshmen.

“The process for picking these students is random,” Kane said. “A few hundred at a time are offered the chance over a 48-hour period to pick a room and bring in a roommate if they applied for housing and want that roommate.”

Kane said 800 students did not receive an invitation to live on campus. Of the students invited to live on campus, 350 chose not to accept.

Kane said the P3 project, which will build seven new residence halls, has not caused the number of available beds to decrease. App State will not tear down the residence halls set for demolition until it can provide new beds for students.

“The P3 in the stadium area will create about 300 more spaces for students,” Kane said. “The problem is campus space. We just do not have the land to build about 500-plus beds to meet the need.”