Indiana colleges facing housing shortage

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Two of Indiana’s most notable universities are facing a similar problem. They have too many students and not enough dorms rooms for them to live in.

Both Purdue and Indiana University say an overflow in their freshman classes has caused them to place more than 100 students each in temporary housing. As of Thursday, Purdue officials say that number has now been reduced to 26, and IU officials say their number of students in temporary housing has now been reduced to 37.

“The situation here is virtually solved, not completely but virtually solved,” IU spokesperson Chuck Carney said.

A recent article published by BuzzFeed drew attention to complaints Purdue students had about their temporary housing accommodations. The article showcased pictures of a room reportedly designed to fit more than 10 students at a time. Eventually, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security looked into the situation to make sure the living quarters were up to code. The department said investigators found that there were no safety violations.

While the article highlighted student criticism of the living situation, a Purdue spokesperson says a group of 10 students who were living in similar temporary housing unit have petitioned the school to remain in the unit for the remainder of the year.

“It’s not the most ideal situation but people have lived there, they enjoy it while they are there, and we will get them placed long term,” Vice Provost for Student Life Beth McCuskey said.

McCuskey added that the university expects the remaining students in temporary housing to be placed in permanent rooms by the end of October.

At IU, officials say their situation is also work in progress. University spokesperson Chuck Carney says he expects the remaining 37 students living in temporary housing to be in permanent rooms before the end of the semester.

“At no time did we feel like we had anybody that was in a place they wouldn’t want to be,” Carney said.

Both Carney and McCuskey say the overcrowding issue was caused by a larger than expected freshman class. Universities typically accept more students than will actually attend their school, however this year, both universities had more freshman commitments than anticipated. To help make up for the inconvenience, both universities are offering students living in temporary housing a significant discount on the cost of their rooms.

Additional dorms are being built at both universities and are expected to be completed within the next few years. Officials for both schools believe the additions will help address any overflow issues they may encounter in the future.

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