Housing has plan to help dorm crunch

University Housing Director Pete Trentacoste has guaranteed that any student who shows up during the recontracting process between now and Feb. 24 “won’t leave without a space.”

Last year, Northern Kentucky University had to turn down more than 280 students applications for housing.

But the addition of Lakeside Heights Nursing Center’s 462 rooms turned dorms has enabled NKU to house 1,852 students next year.

In the past the problem was a simple one–too many people and not enough space, according to Trentacoste.

New student applications are up by 50 compared to this time last year.

Trentacoste said he is expecting between 900 and 1,000 freshman to apply and live on campus, but is confident that students who show up during February will receive a room.

He added, however, that for those who wait until mid-March or April, he can’t guarantee he’ll have a room

Nevertheless, housing staff is working to ensure the opening goes smoothly.

“I can’t stress enough that they need to come during the (recontracting) process,” Trentacoste said.

Those students wishing to keep the same room don’t need to rush, Trentacoste said. But they should be sure to have their application completed turned into the University Housing Office in Norse Commons before the deadline. If not, their room will become “fair game” for students on Feb. 23.

Those wanting to change rooms can begin submitting applications at 9 a.m. Feb. 23.

Trentacoste says the staff will be “ready for that Saturday crowd.”

Last year students came during the early hours of the morning. One even camped out in front of the housing office, Trentacoste said.

“Hectic,” was one word Marcus Orton, a sophomore criminal justice major, used to describe his experience switching rooms last year. He got in line at 5:30 a.m. to switch his room from Woodcrest Apartments to Norse Hall.

To combat that stress that goes along with the long lines, the housing staff is trying out a new system this year.

Students will receive a number that, along with their name, will be recorded by a staff member when they arrive.

Students will not have to stand in line.

A staff member will call a few numbers at a time and allow them into the housing office, where they will be asked to pay the $200 prepayment before being secured a room.

The process is a first-come, first-served basis.

It may not be their first choice, but they will get a room, he said.

A Q-and-A session will be held at 8 p.m. Feb. 21 in the Kentucky Hall Lobby.