COLUMBIA — With a 20 percent increase in freshman enrollment, MU Residential Life is experiencing a shortage in on-campus housing for the fall semester.
The housing crunch caused by the record-sized freshman class has forced the Office of Residential Life to find a creative solution: housing students in two apartment complexes close to campus. MU freshmen will occupy apartments in Campus View and Campus Lodge; the student apartment blocks will be known as Tiger Diggs and Mizzou Quads, respectively.
This is the first time since 2003 MU could not house all of its students on campus. Dormitories at Stephens College held the student overflow that year.
MU will also keep Cramer Hall open instead of using it to house offices displaced by the construction on Brady Commons. Those offices have found temporary housing elsewhere on campus.
While exact enrollment numbers are not yet known, about 5,800 freshmen admissions applications and deposits have been submitted. That number is 20 percent higher than it was this time last year, admissions representative Drew Elmore said. Though these numbers will change, the discrepancy should not be large, because the national enrollment deadline is May 1. Residential Life won’t be able to say exactly how many people will be living in campus housing until closer to August.
The overflow apartments at Tiger Diggs and Mizzou Quads will help make up the difference.
“We had several criteria when we were looking at housing options,” Christian Basi of the MU News Bureau said. “Rooms needed to be furnished; it needed to be close to campus and have a shuttle.”
Both locations are fewer than two miles away from MU. Tiger Diggs, at Campus View, is located at 301 Campus View Drive and Mizzou Quads, at Campus Lodge, is located at 2900 Old 63 S. Campus shuttles are currently offered at both complexes every 30 minutes, but Residential Life is negotiating to possibly increase the frequency of shuttles.
Both Mizzou Quads and Tiger Diggs will be set up similar to traditional residence halls with student and professional staff members living among residents.
“Safety of students is our number-one priority, and we are examining this issue to ensure student safety,” Basi said.
Students living in the off-campus facilities will be subject to all the current rules and policies of Residential Life. In line with MU rules, alcohol will not be permitted in rooms that are part of Tiger Diggs and Mizzou Quads, even though the buildings are not technically on campus.
The rest of the Campus View and Campus Lodge complexes will still be traditional apartments, which are not regulated by MU Residential Life.
Residential Life fees will pay for the entirety of the rent and utilities of the overflow apartments. Prices for these residential facilities are expected to be $4,550 per year for Tiger Diggs and $5,300 per year for Mizzou Quads. On-campus rates range from $3,670 to $6,570.
Basi said rooms in Tiger Diggs and Mizzou Quads will be first offered to sophomores, juniors and seniors who are planning to return to campus housing.
MU sophomore Alyssa Ledbury, an art major from Illinois, said placing students in Mizzou Quads and Tiger Diggs sounds like a good idea, but she wasn’t sure she’d want to live there.
“My thing about living on campus was that I wanted to meet new people and not have to go to campus or have to catch the bus,” she said.
Basi said Residential Life is not looking to make Tiger Diggs and Mizzou Quads permanent campus housing. MU is currently renovating several halls, including Defoe, Graham and Schurz and is constructing others. Mid-Campus Housing, a new residence hall, will provide 527 beds once the building opens. Those buildings should be complete by fall 2009.