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Wednesday, August 23, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 66, Issue 3 

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Campus housing overflow leaves future residents stranded

By Sylvia A. Rocha
Daily Cougar Staff

The demand for on-campus living at UH is still high.

At the end of the summer, the University began to experience overcrowding in residence halls that resulted in students being temporarily lodged in places like study lounges, said Sandy Kopar, assistant director of Residential Life and Housing.

This year, only 1,000 to 1,200 bed spaces were available to offered to students, Kopar said. A total of about 2,300 beds are available on campus, but most of those will only become available when students graduate or move, Kopar said.

As of Friday, between 200 and 300 students were still on the waiting list for a room. Those students will remain in temporary housing arrangements -- most of which are converted lounges in the Moody Towers -- until rooms become available.

Students seeking on-campus housing were warned ahead of time of the possibility of getting a temporary assignment in a lounge room, Kopar said. But she said they also had the option of accepting or declining the temporary assignment.


Nora Segura/The Daily Cougar


Freshmen Matt Dorsey and Caleb Comstock move belongings into their dorm room at the Quadrangle. Because of overcrowding in residence halls, many students were given temporary housing assignments like converted study lounges.

Students are not forced to take on the temporary housing arrangements, but it makes it easier for them if they do accept, Kopar said. For example, some students who have already gone through all the procedures to get a dorm room and have a permanent housing assignment sometimes do not make it to school.

"It's a constant flow of people, and the first ones to get their stuff into the lounges will be the first ones to get an assigned room," Kopar said. "If you don't do overflow, then the first day of school you will have turned away people and you had rooms to fill."

The school has to plan ahead and be prepared to fill the rooms that will be empty due to "no shows" -- people who do not notify the University that they will not be using their rooms.

UH Residential Life and Housing is hoping by this time next year, a new housing complex will be completed, Kopar said. She said ground should be broken next month and should be complete by Fall 2001.

The facility will accommodate about 500 students and will be located on Cullen Boulevard next to Cambridge Oaks.
 

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