Southern Utah University students struggle to find housing as enrollment grows

Housing on Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University Marketing Communications, St. George News

CEDAR CITY — With the increase in student enrollment at Southern Utah University, many students are finding no room at the housing facilities for the upcoming fall 2015 semester and university officials as well as community members are looking for solutions.

University Vice President of Student Affairs Jared Tippets said students are struggling to find housing.

The university’s staff in housing, student affairs, marketing, alumni and admissions have been contacting local apartment complexes, landlords and property management companies to find available housing. An off-campus housing list has been created through their efforts and can be found online.

Increased enrollment

“Between marketing, recruitment and admissions processing, everyone has been working hard and we think this increase in enrollment is a big win for the University and the students,” university Executive Director of Recruitment Brandon Wright said.

Housing on Southern Utah University campus, Cedar City, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University Marketing Communications, St. George News
Housing on Southern Utah University campus, Cedar City, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University Marketing Communications, St. George News

Southern Utah University will welcome its largest freshman class in fall 2015. For the first time, many departments have partnered to set objectives, layout strategy and tactics.

“SUU has set goals increasing both the quality and the quantity of incoming freshman, ” university Executive Director of Marketing Ellen Treanor said. It was the contribution of multiple departments that made the difference, she said.

“We are anticipating an overall growth between 8-9 percent, and the average GPA and ACT scores are up significantly,” Tippets said. “This will be the most academically prepared class to enter SUU in many years.”

Student housing

Early admissions decisions filled on-campus housing quickly and off-campus offerings are filling up faster than anticipated. Community members have reached out to the university to help find students housing.

“This community, since the founding of the University, has proved that in times of need, members will step forward to help,” Southern Utah University President Scott Wyatt said.

Efforts are being made to ensure each SUU student has the necessary resources to succeed academically, University Housing Director Chris Ralphs said, which includes a safe and comfortable home.

One effort that has been made is contacting students that have secured private bedrooms in the university’s on-campus housing facilities and asking if they will open their rooms to roommates. Many students have volunteered to take on additional roommates.

SUU’s growth supports Utah’s “66 by 2020” initiative made in 2010, which calls for two-thirds of all Utah adults to hold either a college degree or technical certification by the year 2020. According to the governor’s education plan, higher levels of education will expand Utah’s economy and prepare students for the demands of the job market.

Resources

  • Community members are invited to contact Chris Ralphs at 435-586-7960 with openings near campus that will be available for rent beginning Aug. 24.

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