“No more beds for returning students in Fall,” says director of WCU Campus Services

The letter from Director of Campus Services Bryant Barnett that Residential Living is distributing to students about the wait-list. Photo by Yustin Riopko.

“Every bed is taken.”

That’s what the Department of Residential Living is telling students this week as they turn in their Residence Hall Agreement forms in preparation for room selection this weekend.

Starting Thursday, Feb. 23, all students who turn in their Residence Hall Agreements and Housing Deposits are being placed on a waiting list. These students may or may not get a room on campus next semester, according to a letter distributed by Residential Living.

According to Director of Student Recruitment and Transitions, Phil Cauley, there has been a 20 percent increase in applications in the past five years from high school students, whereas the student population has only grown by 8 percent. Cauley attributes this difference in applications and acceptance to the school’s effort to manage growth and protect the student experience at WCU.

The Department of Residential Living. Photo by Yustin Riopko.

“While we plan for controlled growth, we do so with an understanding of challenges pertaining to our on-campus capacity,” said Cauley. “We will only grow our residential enrollment as we are able to add more residence hall rooms, dining options and classroom resources, all of which are planned for in the coming years.”

According to WCU’s 2016 and 2017 census information, residence isn’t normally at full capacity.

WCU Vice Chancellor Sam Miller said that our on-campus housing capacity this year is 4,452 beds, and that includes the newest residence hall, Noble. At the beginning of last semester, there was a 96.24 percent occupancy rate for those rooms, and this semester it dropped to 88.77 percent. Miller explained that the Spring semester usually sees lower occupancy rate than Fall semester.

Students on the waiting list who remove themselves from it before they are assigned a room will receive a refund of their $150 Housing Deposit. However, the deposit is non-refundable once the student has been assigned a living space, whether the student likes the room or not.

Residential Living suggests that students who have been wait-listed should search for other housing options by visiting the Student Affairs off-campus housing website.

Check back this week for updates on this situation.