Transitional housing brings mixed emotions to students


Teresa Crum, a sophomore criminology and justice studies major, stands in the lounge on her floor, which is serving as her temporary dorm room.

Abbey Jones

One of the first memories of freshman year for students is packing up their van, making the drive to campus and moving things to their dorm room.

However, instead of an actual room, some students are placed in a dorm lounge for a period of time, often the result of overbooking in the dorms.

“At the start of this year we had 99 students in a transitional housing location,” said Daniel Shonk, the associate director of assignments in Residence Services.

“It varies from year to year. … We usually average around 75 (to) 100, because we know looking through the historical numbers that roughly the number of cancellations, withdrawals that we will process the first few weeks of each semester.”

Shonk said even though there is apprehension from students who are assigned to transitional housing, students generally like it when they arrive at Kent. Transitional housing rooms are bigger than most dorms and can accommodate up to four people comfortably.

Freshmen roommates Kaitlynn Voyzey and Shannon Moore, along with their other two roommates, have set up a study table as a “dining room” table, and have one of the lounge couches still in their room.

Both Voyzey and Moore were placed in transitional housing because of late applications to the university and housing.

Shonk said applying late to the university, in late May for example, or throughout the summer, is the reason students get put into transitional housing. The university hopes to have students in permanent rooms within three to four weeks of the start of the semester.

Despite this turn around time, students like Moore have trouble making the room feel welcoming.

“I’m trying to make (transitional housing) a home away from home, and it’s hard to do that,” Moore said. “I haven’t unpacked everything yet because I know I’m going to be moving again.”

Additionally, students also have the usual problems that students in any room would have.

Voyzey said that it’s very intimidating to live with three roommates instead of just one, as is opening up to new people.

Despite the nerves that come being new on campus, Voyzey said she was able to get to know her roommates over the first few days of classes.

“It’s not as bad as it seems. Go into it with an open mind, and know that it’s not forever,” Voyzey said. “It has taught me something. Not everything is how I want it to be, and I think it was a good lesson for me to experience.”

Moore said she feels the same way.

“If we had the option, we would totally stay,” she said. “We love having each other, and we love the space we are in.”

Abbey Jones is a general assignment reporter. Contact her at [email protected].