With not enough space in on-campus living areas, some Northern Kentucky University students were assigned to temporary off-campus housing for the first few weeks of the semester, and some of them are still living in extended occupancy in University Housing.
According to Arnie Slaughter, interim director for Student Housing, approximately 85 students were assigned to temporary housing. Thirty-five of those students stayed at the Comfort Suites hotel in Bellevue, Ky. A Resident Assistant stayed with them just like they would if they were in the dorms.
The remainder of students were assigned to expanded occupancy areas within the dorms, where rooms designed for two or three people held three or four people, or were placed with an RA.
Students who lived in a hotel had some concerns and anxiety due to being disconnected from campus, Slaughter said.
Parents and students were able to talk to housing coordinators like Cathy Carson through the duration of their stay about what resources were available to students at the hotel.
“Parents were usually more focused on their students getting off to a good start,” said Margaret Brown, a junior RA and housing office worker. “If a student was highly concerned, Cathy made sure they were taken care of,” Brown said.
Brown was one of the RAs on duty at the hotel.
“Duties were to get there by 9 p.m.,” Brown said. “Housing facilitated a program that allowed the RAs to take students to get food. Each person was allowed five dollars.”
Students were informed in advance that they would be living in temporary housing. The housing deadline was May 1. Those who signed up for housing after that date had a greater chance of having a temporary assignment.
Housing officials’ first priority was to get students out of the hotel, Slaughter said. Those students are now in their permanent housing assignments.
Slaughter said some students in extended occupancy assignments have gotten used to their arrangements and grown close to their temporary roommates.
Kentucky Hall, Commonwealth, Norse Hall and Callahan Hall have students temporarily living with RAs. These rooms are built for two people, but RAs typically live alone per their employment contract.
Callahan Hall is providing expanded occupancy; a two-person bedroom is to function as a three-person room, and a four-person bedroom as a five-person bedroom.
Assigning students to their permanent housing arrangement depends on cancellations. As students cancel within a hall, a student with a temporary arrangement moves to that spot.
“I definitely think we need to be as proactive as possible,” Slaughter said. “As the university grows, plans for housing will also be in progress.”
He said NKU is looking at other properties to build more housing but provided no further details.