By Cole Mokry
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/The Loop) – Some South Campus apartments will be converted to allow two students in what were previously one-person rooms.
“A portion of the rooms [in South Campus] will now house two students as part of the university’s master plan,” Ryan Hall, area coordinator for Housing, said.
The change is because of the large size of the incoming freshman class, the requirement that all freshmen must live on campus and the growing number of upperclassmen who want to live on campus past their first year.
Several students cited the university’s apartment-style housing as one of the reasons they attend UTC. Some said they worry the number of applicants to the school will decrease when fewer rooms are available.
Several students said they think there should be a decrease in tuition if they are not able to live on campus. “It only makes sense that if the rooms in which we live become smaller, so should the checks we’re writing to the school,” Lauren Ruth, Kingsport freshman, said.
“If I’m paying the same price to share a room as I was to have my own, why would I come back?” Devon Carter, Memphis sophomore, said.
But Hall said apartment-style living remains a readily available option to students and the university wants to employ “a variety of choices” for housing.
Other students have suggested making on-campus residence an option for freshmen, citing the dozens of nearby apartment complexes, which many upperclassmen currently live in, as credible alternatives. This would create less of a demand for on-campus housing and ease the pressure on the school to create more space for the growing student body, some said.
The South Campus double-bunking situation is just one option the administration is implementing for the school. Other options currently being discussed include renovating current residence halls as is being done in Stagmaier, or building new ones on recently acquired property near the campus.