The Daily Gamecock

USC students return to fewer rooms next year

Number of available beds falls by 800


USC students returning to campus next year may be have a more difficult time than usual finding on-campus housing.

Approximately 2,127 returning students applied by the Dec. 1 deadline for on-campus housing, according to Joe Fortune, Housing’s director of administration. 

Of those students, less than half are expected to get one of the approximately 1,000 beds saved for current students, Fortune said.

That number is down from 1,800 beds last year.

One reason the university has fewer beds to offer is because of the closing of Wade Hampton, Sims and McClintock for renovations.

Currently, the Women’s Quadrangle houses 543 students, mostly first-year students, Fortune said. Women’s Quad will reopen in August 2014 with 600 beds according to the renovation plan, Fortune said.

Freshmen will be rearranged evenly into different residences to accommodate the shortage of beds, leaving fewer rooms on-campus for upperclassmen.

According to Kirsten Kennedy, Housing’s executive director, returning students who receive housing will most likely be members of one of the 20 living and learning communities.

“We require and guarantee first-year students on-campus housing, and we will still be able to meet that obligation,” Kennedy said. “We will have fewer spaces for returning students, with those remaining spaces being allocated to students who have an academic program that requires and/or encourages living in a specific residence hall [such as] Honors, Capstone (and) Green Quad.”

Kennedy believes the private market of off-campus housing is capable of providing housing to the “displaced students.”

Under USC’s new housing application system, students applied earlier this year than in the past and will receive notices from Housing by Feb. 1, which administrators hope will make it easier for rejected students to find housing off-campus. Students were also allowed to apply without making a financial commitment.

In past years, students have had difficulty finding roommates or off-campus housing by the previous notification time of late February, putting some students in difficult positions, according to Fortune. The notification system and room selection process will remain the same, Fortune said.

Students who do get a housing assignment will have until Feb. 15 to pay a $150 advance fee on VIP, according to Fortune.

Fortune said Housing will be working closely with Off-Campus Student Services to help students who didn’t receive on-campus housing to find suitable places to live elsewhere.