As enrollment has increased, so has the demand for housing, and fulfilling this demand has been no easy task for St. Scholastica’s Housing and Residential Life staff.
This year alone, between 70 to 80 students have been placed at the Edge because of a lack of on campus housing. The number has recently dropped to 13, however, as space has opened up, said Betsy Kneepkens, assistant dean of students for campus life.
Housing overflow usually is a problem every year. As a matter of fact, this is the third time that St. Scholastica has turned to the Edge for room to house students, and, according to Kneepkens, the college is looking for a permanent solution.
“The college is looking at building,” Kneepkens said. “The board is going to look at this at their fall meeting.”
As of now, shuttles run between the hotel and school every half hour until 5 p.m. When they stop running, taxis, paid for by the school, are available at the student’s convenience.
Shane May, a junior CTA major, is one of the students living at the Edge, who feels the distance. “I’m comfortable, but I’m away from things I need to be near,” May said. “I don’t have easy access to things at school, and the shuttle is frustrating.”
In addition to the inconvenience of transportation, living at the Edge makes having meals more difficult, as well. May doesn’t have access to an oven. He has a mini fridge and microwave in his room and eats mainly sandwiches and microwavable burritos.
Freshmen living at the Edge still do have a meal plan, though, Kneepkens said. They just have to be strategic about when to eat.
Not all is bad about living at a hotel, however. Students reap the same benefits as other hotel guests. “We get free internet and TV, and we get free breakfast every morning,” May said.
While housing overflow is a problem, staff in Housing and Residential Life are doing the best they can to meet the needs of the students and to move students immediately when on campus housing becomes available.
While the situation is less than ideal, it could certainly be worse. “I’m not unhappy,” May said. “I’m comfortable. It’s just inconvenient.”