Campus housing will be limited to freshmen and a much lower number of non-freshmen starting next fall semester as another record incoming freshman class is anticipated. An estimated 585 non-freshmen students live in campus dorms this year, and all of those beds will be allocated to freshmen or non-freshmen involved in certain campus organizations next year.
“Decisions like this are always extremely tough to make, but necessary when the university is growing as Ole Miss is,” said Lionel Maten, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs and director of student housing. “We have had numerous meetings with many different entities on campus to ensure that this decision was both necessary and planned effectively.”
In addition to the 455 beds that will be allocated to freshmen in Crosby Hall next semester, 90 beds currently occupied by non-freshmen in Northgate Hall will be assigned to Ole Miss Opportunity Scholars and 20-30 beds in both the Residential College South and the Luckyday Residential College will be allocated to freshman. These numbers do not include Community Assistants.
The change in the campus housing arrangement was first brought to Maten’s attention in December after university administrators reviewed enrollment projections based on the number of applications. While exact enrollment projections are not typically released, University of Mississippi Communications Director Danny Blanton said another record freshman class is a possibility. The highest freshman class at Ole Miss was 4,889 in the fall of 2012-13. Total Oxford campus enrollment has grown steadily for the past five years.
Sorority women who planned to live in Crosby Hall are the largest group affected by the change, and many have to make other housing plans for next year.
“It’s very frustrating that this news came so late and that I have to make a whole new set of plans,” said Grace Richards, freshman psychology major and sorority member.
Other sorority members who will not be personally affected are also upset about the change.
“I think it’s great that the university wants to expand so much, but we don’t have room,” freshman marketing major Caroline Peterson said. “I feel bad for the people who have already made their living arrangements and will have to change them now. It seems really late for them to just now tell us about this.”
Maten and other university officials met with leaders in each sorority last night to discuss alternatives to living in Crosby.
“We wanted to ensure that these students had plenty of time to make other housing arrangements,” Maten said.
He said university officials will meet with off-campus housing properties today to “work through solutions,” which will include discussions about both individual and block leases for students who need to make other arrangements before the fall semester.
– Adam Ganucheau