More than 120 still stuck in UI temp housing

BY ERIC MOORE | AUGUST 24, 2011 7:20 AM

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Though classes are underway, some University of Iowa students remain without a permanent living situation for the fall semester.

As of Tuesday, there were 122 students in “expanded housing.” That is down from the 133 students that were in temporary housing as of Aug. 18, said Von Stange, the UI assistant vice president for University Housing and Dining.

Students in this housing situation must wait until space opens up, which occurs when students who have dorm rooms either drop out, transfer, or move off campus. Until rooms in residence halls become available, students reside in student lounges, often with five to eight staying in a lounge at a time.

Students are provided with their own bed, but they must share things such as dresser space, a space for hanging clothes, and desks.

Though the temporary situations may seem less ideal than having a dorm room, some students in these situations view the conditions fairly positively. For one thing, it costs a reduced price of $10 per day, plus the cost of their meal plan.

“It’s not terrible,” said 18-year-old Katrina Pangilinan, who is in temp housing at Slater with eight other students. “I think whom you live with makes a difference. We’re all pretty easy-going. I think we met a lot more people; the downside is that there’s like no room in there.”

One of the downsides of living in the student lounge is not having a sink or mirror. This has proven a problem for Pangilinan and others.

“One of my friends was doing her hair over the fire detector, and it went off,” Pangilinan said. “We had to wait 30 minutes for someone to turn it off.”

Lack of space has also been an issue.

“We get like three drawers of space and a little rack for hangers,” said Dallas Portz, 18. “And it kind of sucks because we’ll have to move again.”

Conversely, UI freshman Abigail Ramos found the space sufficient.

“Space is not an issue,” the 18-year-old biology major said. “We all keep to ourselves when we want to, and when we hang out, we hang out. It’s not really a big deal.”

Many students wonder what the university will do to compensate for the continuing increase in student enrollment.

“The last five years, they spent time building the recreational center,” Portz said. “I figured they would’ve spent more time building the dorms, personally.”

While the university has continued to advise students to apply for housing early, each student interviewed by The Daily Iowan said her or his application was submitted before the deadline.

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