Georgia Southern University responds to housing overcrowding

Shiann Sivell

Georgia Southern University housing is working to solve an overcrowding issue in Watson Hall.

Predominately male spaces in Watson Hall were limited in bedroom spaces due to an increase in freshmen attendance and late applications from returning and transfer students, Housing Director Ryan Heins, said.

“We gave priority of those male spaces to first-year students coming in, not to returning and transfer students who wanted housing options,” Heins said.

GS has a requirement for first-year students to live on campus. These students were placed in regular assignments before the fall semester.

Returning students were given a variety of options, including the temporary option to wait until housing cancelations occurred and then be assigned or to have their application fee refunded and go live off-campus.

“This year we didn’t yield as many [cancelations] as we normally do,” Heins said. “We ended up with twelve students who took us up on the option to go into a lobby-turned overflow space.”

Three rooms were used in the overflow space in which four people were put in a traditional two-person room. Designated triple rooms in Kennedy Hall were used as well.

Each student was given a storage bin to put under their bed and had access to the in-room closets and kitchenette.

There were no safety concerns or hazards caused by the overcrowding problem, Heins said.

During the process, housing officials stayed in frequent contact with the affected students and have agreed to let them out of their housing contract if they chose to go off campus.

As of Aug. 21, three students are still waiting for permanent housing options to become available.

“I anticipate that by the end of the month or by the first week of September that we will have those students out of the spaces,” Heins said. “We just have to have to get to that stage of getting them a vacancy in the place they want to go to.”

Shiann Sivell, The George-Anne Enterprise Reporter,