75°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Fewer Students Destined For Temporary Housing

While demand for on-campus housing remains high, fewer new students will find themselves placed in temporary living spaces this fall than last, according to Housing Services officials.

The majority of those students that do are new and continuing students that applied for housing late but are nevertheless being accommodated, said David Vaillancourt, assistant director of Housing Services. Students were notified of their housing assignments last week.

While the numbers will fluctuate, Vaillancourt predicts approximately 194 students will be placed in temporary quarters in the residence halls this September. That compares with 317 students last year. During the first week of classes, another 100 or so students may be assigned rooms at the Campus Center Hotel, he says, compared with about 370 students in hotel spaces both on and off-campus last year.

Additionally, Vaillancourt says that because 100 to 150 students each year do not show up to campus as planned, he expects the overall number of students in temporary housing to be reduced much more quickly than last year. Students in hotel spaces typically are assigned to a residence hall by the end of the first week of classes. Last year, approximately 300 students remained in temporary housing for the entire fall semester.

“The good news is the fewer number of temporary spaces in use this year,” says Vaillancourt, “as well as the fact that the primary reason we’re using them at all is to assist students who applied late for housing.”

Despite an intentionally smaller class of first-year students this fall (3,400), a large class of sophomores (approximately 4,000) and a high demand for on-campus housing from upper-division students are contributing to the need for temporary spaces, according to Vaillancourt. In addition, he says, unlike last year, Housing Services did not discourage transfer students, particularly juniors, from applying for housing.

Freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus and the University guarantees housing only for those groups. In recent years, however, more and more upperclass students are opting to live in the residence halls, says Vaillancourt, due to a tight rental market in the local area, and the lower cost of living in a residence hall.

Temporary living spaces are usually created in lounge areas of the residence halls.

Vaillancourt says this year an effort was made to keep one lounge open for student use on each floor of a residence hall. He noted that is especially true for the residence halls in Orchard Hill, where last year, every available lounge was used.

As an additional note, Vaillancourt credits recent new policies that include penalty fees for late housing cancellations for improving the efficiency of the housing assignment process.