On-campus housing up at DSUDespite a rampant area housing shortage, Dickinson State University, which is slated to commence classes Monday, still has dorm space available in lieu of an increased number of students living on campus.
Despite a rampant area housing shortage, Dickinson State University, which is slated to commence classes Monday, still has dorm space available in lieu of an increased number of students living on campus.
“We believe, that the local shortage of space or the local shortage of affordable space has contributed toward many students who would otherwise choose to live off campus, they’ve chosen to live on campus,” said Hal Haynes, vice president for student development.
DSU has experienced an increase of about 10 percent of returning students who stayed in university housing, Haynes said, adding a significant number of upperclassmen are living in residence halls.
“Last year at this time we had 250 returning students living on campus,” Haynes said, defining a returning student as anyone sophomore and above. “This year we have 272.”
Haynes said the increase can be attributed to student satisfaction with campus housing as it is “affordable and accessible.”
But, the local housing shortage could also contribute.
While the university has experienced an increase in returning students living on campus, the number of international students choosing to do so has decreased by about 25, Haynes said.
The number of international students living on campus has decreased by 25, and Haynes says that could be attributed to more living off campus.
“It’s balanced out in the sense that we’re basically at the same occupancy level that we were at this time a year ago,” Haynes said.
Traditional residence hall housing is two people per room, but in order for the university “to expand and accommodate a huge demand,” typical rooms designed for double occupancy are modified to occupy three, Haynes said.
“In other words, we throw in a set of bunk beds and we can accommodate the space that way, and the demand,” Haynes said.
A discount is offered to those who choose triple-occupancy, which is all that remains and Haynes estimates about 60 or so beds to be available.
Shelby Kottraba, a DSU freshman nursing student from Moorcroft, Wyo., was able to secure a residence hall space with just one roommate, of whom she will meet today.
Both nervous and excited, Kottraba said she likes the idea of having her own space.
“Sharing a bathroom, I’m not really looking forward to that,” Kottraba said, adding she is armed with plastic shoes.
Some students can keep their campus apartments for the summer.
Provided a student is in good standing socially and academically, he or she may sign a contract in March of the previous year to keep their apartment for the summer, also known as “squatters’ rights,” Haynes said.
In addition to three residence halls, DSU operates four apartment complexes, one being family housing.
Despite increased dormitory numbers, overall housing numbers are down by 20 as compared to this time last year, Haynes said.
Haynes said the overall decrease can be attributed to a higher number of families living in on-campus apartments rather than in the past, three students per apartment.
All the apartment complexes are full and generally fill quickly, he said.
“Parents are desperately trying to find housing for their son or daughter off-campus,” Haynes said.
Stefani Jones, secretary for Bauer Property Management, one of Dickinson’s largest apartment leasers, said out of the approximate 500 units Bauer manages, two were left as of Friday afternoon and were in the process of being shown to prospective renters.
Jones said she receives numerous calls an hour from people, both students and oilfield, looking for housing.
But, not all students plan ahead for housing.
Haynes said he has fielded about four phone calls in the last two days from parents or students frantic to find living space.
“We try to always encourage students in the spring of the year, ‘take care of your housing arrangements,’ ” Haynes said, particularly over the last two years due to a lack of local space.