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Dorms reach maximum capacity

With maximum capacity fulfilled, the demand for dorms is greater than what housing can offer.

Tyler Junior College plans on building a “250 bed facility across from Bateman in the next 5-6 years,” said Angela Nunez, director of Residential Life and Housing.

Many students are finding the limited number of beds an issue. Over the summer, approximately 250 students were not able to attend TJC in the fall because of the lack of rooms.

A couple weeks before school started for the fall semester, the housing department stopped placing people on the waiting list because they already had 300 on it. In the summer of 2008, the waiting list drew approximately 100 students who didn’t end up being placing in a room.

Last year, the capacity was 97 percent and this year has increased to 100 percent. On average, most campus housing only reaches about 80 percent capacity.

These statistics show the housing department must have certain things that are attracting students to live on campus.

“We have to show students what they want out of housing to make them want to be a part of the dorm life,” said Nunez.

To help keep up with demand; Residential Life and Housing added a new dorm complex, Luoise H. and Joseph Z. Ornelas Complex, last summer housing 462 students. The older dorms cost $2,075 per semester and Ornelas costs $2,985 per semester.

Housing on campus can accommodate 1,063 students including residential assistants. Approximately 350 of those students are athletes.

With changes and renovations taking place throughout campus in the next few years, housing is interested in getting the Ornelas hall paid for and making cosmetic changes to the older halls.

“We hope to make cosmetic changes and fix repairs for now,” said Samantha Faggett, Housing area coordinator.

With most of the halls, adding a fresh coat of paint, new blinds, ventilation systems and fixing minor leaks are the main priorities to keeping the dorms up and running.

In the near future, Nunez would like to see more study halls added in the dorms along with some computers, kitchen set ups, and new mattresses.

Housing is “trying to provide students with incentives to stay on campus rather than off,” said Nunez.

Housing is trying to make changes to meet the demand from students. With conferences, Residential Hall Association (RHA) meetings, surveys, dances and other events, on-campus housing is also trying to provide things such as flat-screen TVs, gaming systems and entertainment to encourage more students to live on campus.

“I chose living on campus because I wanted to interact with the culture by meeting other students,” said Adela Elizondo, foreigner

from Mexico, freshman student living in Claridge hall. “I like it because you meet a lot of great people and all my classes are nearby.”

Residential Life and Housing is also in the process of setting up an online housing system, accessible through Apache Access to better communicate with residents about applying/billing/cancelling, forms, dimensions and pictures of the rooms, and communicating with potential roommates.

“We hope to have this system running by November, December at the latest,” said Nunez.

Currently there are around 100 students on the waiting list for spring semester, so anyone interested in on-campus living should fill out an application. Residents on campus must pay their spring payment on or before Dec. 1. Anyone interested in dorms should stop by the Residential Life and Housing office.

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