Housing experiment coming

The housing problems that plagued Northern Kentucky University for the first few weeks of the Fall 2010 semester may repeat next fall.

University officials will experiment to see if it was a fluke or a trend, Director of University Housing Pete Trentacoste reported to the Student Government Association (SGA) at their Nov. 1 meeting. Meanwhile, the SGA is also considering whether to improve the quality of recreation equipment available in the dorms and whether to endorse a university-sponsored carpooling program.

(Click here to view Trentacoste’s presentation to the SGA)

Crowded housing created headaches for students as rooms designed for two had to squeeze in three, resident assistants had to take roommates, and off-campus hotels had to be used at the beginning of the semester. The headaches were caused by a miscalculation on the number of students who would want to return to campus housing, Trentacoste said.

Instead of building another campus housing unit to deal with demand, University Housing is taking a wait-and-see approach.

“We don’t want to aggressively go and expand without another year,” Trentacoste said in the meeting.

To help alleviate the problem next year, NKU is planning to limit the number of upperclassmen students who can sign up to live on campus, but they are not sure what that limit will be just yet or if it will help with problem. If it does not, Trentacoste admitted that temporary measures like those used this year would be used again.

The key factor to determining who can and cannot live on campus will be the order in which students sign up before the priority deadline.

Trentacoste also highlighted another plan for the upcoming summer. Residents will now have to move to Callahan Hall if they plan on using housing for the summer semester in order to make room for renovation plans in the residential village. New kitchens are planned to be built in Callahan in advance of the change. Rates will also be lower than Woodcrest and there is a pathway to campus being built behind Callahan.

A new campus fitness area besides the Campus Recreation Center is now also on the SGA’s radar.

SGA Senator Josh Moermond updated the body during the University Improvements Committee report that he worked with University Housing to look at ways to improve the fitness facilities in Norse Commons.

Moermond said he hopes to work with the Residential Housing Association to do a focus study on use of the space. He is also getting copies of the card scan reports to see how many students are using the facility. He said University Housing is willing to spend money to improve the center if SGA can show students are using it. SGA is planning to work to better highlight the facility through signage and tours, Moermond said.

In new business, a resolution was presented to create a ride share board to help students coordinate carpooling efforts.

It was revealed through the discussion that this is an idea NKU was already planning and this resolution would merely be an endorsement of the idea. Details as to whether it would be a physical board or online are still being worked out, according to one of the resolution’s sponsors, John Jose.

Jose said the bill will help students who do not have cars.

(Click here to read the proposed legislation.)

Several senators had issues with the way the resolution was written, and it will be updated and presented for a vote at the next meeting on Nov. 8.

Mikey Adkins was named Senator of the Month for October by the Executive Board under a new effort to recognize and encourage student senators to do more.

“He’s definitely been very, very beneficial to our committee,” said Paul Bell, chair of the Student Rights Committee on which Adkins sits. “He’s just jumped right in.”

Story by Jesse Call