Elevators, monitor stations and the cafeteria are experiencing longer lines this year in University Housing. The wait is due to an increased capacity of upperclassmen students choosing to live on campus.
“University Housing has not been this full in a number of years. [Housing] is somewhere around 3,950 students,” said Matt Crouse, assistant director of University Housing.
This number means that housing is at over-capacity, or has an excess of residents compared to room availability. To compensate for the rise in residents, UW-Milwaukee purchased additional bed frames, mattresses, desks and chairs from other UW educational institutions. The furniture was added to rooms designed for three students, now temporarily home to four.
One area of housing holding newly created resident spaces is Sandburg North Tower. In previous years, floors in North Tower were closed due to a low number of housing applicants. Closing a few floors gave maintenance crews the opportunity to spruce up Sandburg.
“Thanks to a few strong storms, we realized the roof needed some attention to stop water from periodically leaking onto resident’s laptops and PlayStations,” said North Tower Residence Life Coordinator, Tyler Sonnenberg. “[The highest floors] 25 and 26 were closed, as well as NG1 through 3.”
Six floors total were closed in North Tower last year, but it’s a whole new story for the biggest Sandburg Tower this semester.
“It was always a little disappointing walking through the empty communities last year… A full NOTO gives us our identity back of being the biggest and best community on campus!” said Sonnenberg.
Aside from purchasing additional furniture, University Housing has also hired an extra 12 resident assistants to ensure safety and provide resources for the many residents.
Crouse says housing is continuing to work to find permanent rooms for those added to overflow spaces, while some student applicants will remain on a wait list.
“While stressful, it is an amazing problem to have,” said Crouse. “It shows that residents value the University Housing experience.”
An overall rise in freshmen student enrollment may also contribute to housing overflow, due to UWM first year student on-campus living requirement. In Fall 2013, there were 4,530 freshmen enrolled. This fall, there are nearly 4,800 freshmen, a 5.6 percent increase from last year.