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UNCW creates overflow on-campus housing due to high admittance

Outside of Galloway Hall. Completed in 1971, it was the first student dormitory built on campus. (Nate Mauldin/The Seahawk)

UNCW broke records this year with the largest freshman class in the school’s history, with more than 2,500 admitted students. Due to the high number of admitted students and the limited dorm space, some study rooms, offices and living spaces have been remade as bedrooms for first-year students in Sandpiper and Pelican Hall.

Dr. Kevin Meaney, Executive Director of Housing and Residence Life (HRL) for students living on campus, said that overall, the response from students has been positive.

“UNCW’s incoming first-year class was much larger than anticipated and on-campus housing is very much in demand generally,” said Meaney. “The combination of the two contributed to this situation…Most students seem pleased with the halls and rooms that we are using. We have had a handful of students reach out with concerns since move-in, and we are working as quickly as possible to resolve those.”

Outside of Pelican Hall, adjacent to The Hub. Rooms that were intended for workspaces have since been converted into traditional dorm rooms to accommodate the large influx of freshmen students. Many residents have opted to lower the floor-to-ceiling shades for privacy. (Nate Mauldin/The Seahawk)

A Resident Advisor for sophomores in University Suites, who has chosen to stay anonymous for security purposes, stated, “There’s no overflow housing for us. In fact, we have quite a lot of vacancies available.”

The RA also stated that concerns that have been brought to them mainly consist of safety and a lack of privacy for the students that do live in overflow spaces.

“They accepted over 100% capacity and wanted all freshmen to be together in housing areas, and to not be mixed in with predominantly upperclassmen,” said the RA. “Another concern has been how it’s detrimental to a lot of freshmen’s first experience with college and feeling like they’ve been thrown to the curb in terms of priority.”

Outside of Loggerhead Hall, a suite-style dorm that accommodates 387 students. (Nate Mauldin/The Seahawk)

Students living in overflow housing are compensated by the university. Meaney said the overflow spaces in each hall are priced lower than the already lowest-priced room in the same dorm. Meaney also said that HRL is planning to approach the situation differently if it arises again.

“Ultimately, this is a result of UNCW’s popularity and status as a school of choice for many students. That kind of demand is a good thing overall, but it can create some challenges along the way.”

When asked how this could affect the 2-year on-campus housing requirement for students, Meaney stated that there has not been an impact on sophomore housing this year. For the upcoming year, HRL plans to allocate more beds and living spaces to allow for the rule to still be maintained in place for the large class of 2027.

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    Scott (Alumni)Sep 24, 2023 at 4:14 pm

    Accepting over 100% capacity is not “high admittance” it is “over admittance”. A university should be able to do simple math. How many rooms do I have, how many people did we admit? Sticking people in study and living rooms is shameful, it hurts their freshman experience as well as those who now don’t have a study room or living space. Are they doing business the way airlines do; figuring some people won’t show up so they over book? And if they all show up, oh well, someone is screwed and we try to make them happy.