Students’ demand for campus housing at Northern Kentucky University reached an all-time high this fall.
With all 1, 396 beds occupied, Kentucky Hall, Commonwealth Hall, Norse Hall, Woodcrest Hall and the University Suites all have no vacancies.
“We had about 1,321 students last year and this year we were completely at our capacity,” said Matt Brown, the director of university housing.
Students who sent their housing applications in early were guaranteed a spot. Those from local parts of town who waited until the last second faced trouble.
“The last three weeks leading up to opening, we had to prioritize late contracts by geography,” Brown said. “We were using our last handful of spaces to accommodate students who were walking in from Cleveland or Louisville or Western Kentucky that really had no option of commuting.”
Brown and the housing staff had to consider international students who needed to stay on campus. With the vacancy issues, some students had to room temporarily with resident assistants in Kentucky Hall and Commonwealth.
Hall Director Bethany Kilgore said the group of RAs hardly complained about the situation, especially Kentucky Hall RA Pat Reynolds. Bummed at first about sharing a room, he said, Reynolds bonded with his new roommate.
“Fortunately, our schedules were pretty much the same so we got up at the same time. He was a cool dude, we got along really well,” he said. “I told Bethany that I didn’t want him to move out. I’d rather have someone here to hang out with … but I always leave my door open.”
Even though housing did some reconfiguring, some students are still on a waiting list. Brown is advocating the construction of a new residential hall.
“NKU is seriously exploring what options are available down the road to provide some additional beds,” he said. “It’s a really complex process and involves multiple departments and vice presidents, but (the university) is starting to have that discussion.”
Until then, Brown said he and housing will continue to manage their occupancy as best as they can.