Students await permanent housing on campus

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Demetrius Walton, freshman occupational therapy, sits in his room, a lounge, in Dunbar on Aug. 26. “It’s bigger than the dorm room,” Walton said. “I love it. I’d rather live here.” Photo by Nancy Urchak.

Amanda Crumm

For most Kent State students, move-in day consists of carrying boxes across parking lots, up stairs and finally to their dorm rooms where they unpack, organize and make their rooms their own for the next eight months. But some students are not settling in so easily.

Approximately 35 students at Kent State University are moving into transitional housing until dormitory rooms are available, according to Dave Taylor, senior assistant director of residence services. This number is nearly half of the 60 students who were in transitional housing last fall semester.

Transitional housing is a space in a residence hall that is normally used as a study lounge but has been temporarily converted to house students. Two to four students, depending on the size of the space, are assigned to each lounge, said John White, associate director of Residence Services.

White said students living in the transitional housing are provided with the same amenities as dorm rooms. They are furnished with bunk beds, desks and wardrobes.

The transitional housing units are set up in various residence halls throughout Kent State. The majority of the units are in Dunbar, Prentice and Verder halls. However, there are also students in Clark, Manchester, Koonce and Wright halls.

Taylor wrote, in an email, that these dislocated students are being placed in transitional housing because they applied for housing so late in the summer. Those who are living in transitional housing — according to Taylor — did not apply to Kent State until August, and the majority of them applied only within the last two weeks.

“Rather than turn a transfer student or other student away, we can offer them space with the plan to move them to a permanent space shortly,” he wrote.

During the first two weeks of fall semester, Residence Services receives approximately 80 room cancellations from students who withdraw because they are homesick or decide to attend another university, he said. This creates vacancies for the students in transitional housing to occupy.

“It’s our hope that by the third week of September the majority, if not all, our students in transitional housing have been reassigned to a permanent location,” Taylor wrote.

Students living in temporary housing receive approximately a 25 percent reduction of the basic double room rate for the duration of their time spent in these spaces, according to Taylor.

“Having students in a transitional space is a sign of a healthy and vibrant housing program and university, and we’re happy that students want to live on campus,” he said.

Clark Green, junior communication studies major, said his stay in the Wright Hall sixth floor lounge has been hospitable so far. Then again, he said, he has the place to himself.

“It’s really comfortable,” Green said. “I got a lot of space, got everything I need. Everybody here is real hospitable and easy to talk to. I mean they’re real friendly, so yeah I think it’s been a great experience for me so far.”

Contact Amanda Crumm at [email protected].