Mar 022010
 
Authors: Allison Welter

After listening to student feedback and implementing incentives for students returning to the dorms, the Department of Housing and Dining Services is where it wants to be for 2010-2011 housing capacity, a department spokesperson said.

As of Friday, 774 students committed to living in the residence halls next year, up 171 from 603.

The increase, HDS Communications Director Tonie Miyamoto said, is a direct result of a campaign that offered new meal plans, fixed room pricing and designated upperclassmen wings.

“All decisions for this year’s room selection campaign were made by listening to student feedback and creating the options and financial choices that would make it economically feasible and desirable to return to campus,” Miyamoto said in an e-mail to the Collegian.

The CSU System Board of Governors, the final authority on housing rate increases, typically provides a final decision on housing rates in June. This year, returning students were promised their current rates to return to the residence halls next year.

“With the weak economy, many campuses across the country are freezing rates and trying to offer students budget-friendly options to retain them and help in these difficult economic times,” Miyamoto said in the e-mail.

Additionally, HDS was able to offer returning students a new ‘U’ dining plan, which provides six meals a week and $200 in Ram Cash.

Returning students were given the option to live in upperclassmen designated areas in several dorms including Aspen, Summit, Durward, Newsom, Ingersoll and Edwards Halls.
“We listened very closely to what students were asking for and put a room selection campaign together to meet those needs,” Miyamoto said.

CSU is not the only university offering returning students incentives.

The University of Northern Colorado offers returning students smaller rate increases than the rates offered to incoming freshmen, said Sean Broghammer, the associate director of UNC’s Housing and Residence Life.

UNC, like CSU, is currently seeing an increase in returning students.

Projections report that about 800 students, almost 25 percent of UNC’s total housing capacity, have signed up to live in the residence halls.

CU-Boulder does not provide incentives for returning students primarily because they don’t have the space to house returning students. Only 480 of their 6,000 beds are filled with upperclassmen, said Ken Kucera, assistant director of Occupancy Management at CU-Boulder.

“We do not have a large returning group,” Kucera said. “We rely primarily on incoming freshmen to fill our residence halls.”

Though CSU is not at 100 percent capacity yet, the remaining 200 beds, of the 5,300 available, provide the university with the flexibility to guarantee freshmen housing and cater to transfers and late arrivals.

Over the summer, CSU will be taking Corbett Hall out of use for renovation and possibly doing work in Allison Hall, a continued effort to attract students with the most energy-efficient and up-to-date dorms as possible.

Staff writer Allison Welter can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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