UWP students fill classes, overflow residence halls

September 13, 2002

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PLATTEVILLE-With enrollment closing early for the first time in the University of Wisconsin-Platteville's history, residential housing on campus has an overflow of male residents this fall. Rhonda Viney, director of student housing, said some overflow is planned and students are being accommodated accordingly.

"Corner room lounges, regular lounges and the Royce Guest Center are being utilized to accommodate the overflow of students in residential halls," Viney said. "As we confirm 'no shows' and students decide college isn't for them or they have family situations that prevent them from staying at UWP, we're reassigning the overflow students into regular accommodations."

When students were first admitted into student housing on Aug. 29, the overflow rate was approximately 50 students. As of Sept. 4, that number has decreased to 37 students. Students residing in the regular lounges are the first to receive reassignment, followed by students in the corner room lounges and then students in the Royce Guest Center.

"The Royce Guest Center is viewed as the most similar in nature to the dormitories," Viney said. "We've hired a staff person who lives in the center because it is possible that a number of students will continue to be housed in Royce Hall for the semester."

In addition to providing overflow students with accommodations comparable to the standard dormitory rooms, other steps have been taken to ensure those students of campus inclusion.

"We are providing services to the students who are in temporary housing to help them feel involved on campus," Viney said. "The staff is making special efforts to reach out to these students so they get to know the residence hall staff members and other residents on campus. We also want overflow students to be familiar with the variety of services available on campus.

While the University has not had this number of overflow students since the early 1990s, when an estimated 200 overflow students were admitted, Viney said the University plans for student overflow in residential housing.

"Because student housing receives no state tax dollars, we are self sustaining, relying on our housing fees to cover operational costs, maintenance, renovations, staff salaries and other costs," Viney said. "We are kind of like the airline company that overbooks flights with the anticipation that a certain percentage of people will not show up. By maintaining as high of an occupancy as possible, we are able to keep costs to our students low and put money into reserves for future projects or unforeseen expenses."

All students in overflow housing received letters notifying them of the situation with the assurance that comparable accommodations would be provided. The availability of student housing was decided on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students who submitted applications and the $100 prepayment early secured hall assignments. Viney said students have been very amenable to the situation and very few complaints have been received.

"We've actually had more parents who are concerned than we have students," Viney said. "The students don't seem to have any problems with the overflow situation."

According to a report in the Wisconsin State Journal, eight other University of Wisconsin System campuses anticipated an overflow of students in residential housing this fall.

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