Housing crunch at SFA

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The first of more than 11,000 students moved in to Stephen F Austin State University today. Some were greeted by a housing crunch. It's too early to know how many will end up having not one room mate, but two. Bunk beds were moved into some dorm rooms. By Monday housing authorities should know who will be coming back and who won't.

Right now cramped quarters led to frustration. Students rushed to get the single bed, while some parents felt ripped off, even though rates were knocked-down by a third. "I just as soon let them have the 33% and have two people in the room," Randy Foret said while moving in his son.  "I mean this is going to be horrible with another guy," he said, looking around the small room that was built for two, not three.

"They shouldn't have accepted all these people if they didn't have room to put anybody," commented his son, Ross. "They should have just declined them." "He's not even in here yet and it's already getting bad," Ryan Parker said, referring to the third student.  "So, we'll see if we can work something out."

Universities routinely overbook, expecting no-shows. This semester the practice backfired. A university spokesperson says a demand for higher education and an increased interest in SFA led to the problem. Other state universities, including Lamar, are experiencing the same problems.

President Dr. Baker Patillo explained to hundreds of faculty members that SFA has had enrollment increases for four consecutive semesters. This hasn't happened since 1982. From an administrative standpoint too many students is a good problem to have, considering their salaries revolve around enrollment numbers.  "Head count generates semester hours and that's what we're paid on," Patillo said.  "We're on a formula system and we have to do that to provide the funds we need."

University officials say none or hundreds may be required to triple up for a few days to a few weeks. They will be able to better predict how serious the housing crunch is after this weekend when all the students return to dorm life. First day of class is Monday.

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