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Housing enrollment lower than usual

By , Director  |  Saturday, July 6, 2013 8:07 AM

The number of students who applied for housing for the fall 2013 semester is lower than usual, but Residence Life Director Aaron Macke said time and changes might attract more applications.

While retention, transfer and female housing rates are all low, one population stands “strong”: the men.

After Residence Life mailed housing assignments to first-year students Saturday, Macke said there are 630 male freshmen residents, an unusual circumstance.

Director of Residence Life Aaron Macke said Tuesday that St. Thomas' on-campus housing population is low heading into the fall semester. He said he hopes to see more students fill on-campus rooms by the end of July and early August.  (Photo courtesy of St. Thomas)

Director of Residence Life Aaron Macke said Tuesday that St. Thomas’ on-campus housing population is low heading into the fall semester. He said he hopes to see more students fill on-campus rooms by the end of July and early August.
(Photo courtesy of St. Thomas)

Macke said around 610 first-year female students are currently enrolled for on-campus housing, making it possible to avoid expanded housing in Dowling Hall completely. However, because space is tight in Brady Hall, the lounges may have to be converted into residence spaces.

As of Tuesday, Macke said there are “a few” first-year students slotted for expanded housing, but it’s possible that will change as the summer progresses.

“There are a handful of students who we’ve communicated with saying ‘Hey, we aren’t giving you an assignment right now. We’re going to let some things move a little bit, some cancellations and people move into different spaces, and we’ll go ahead and get you that assignment when we can,’” Macke said.

Residence Life will have a better idea of where the students in expanded housing will be living at the end of July and into August. Transfer and international student numbers are expected to solidify around the same time.

“In July and August, space will free for them and we won’t have to use lounges,” Macke said. “We’re sure we won’t have to use lounges in Dowling because our women’s numbers aren’t going to get to that point. We’re hopeful that we won’t have to use any lounges in Brady either.”

The lower level Koch residence, more commonly known as “The Barracks,” will still house male students during the 2013-2014 school year.

Michael LaLiberte, an incoming freshman, said there were multiple draws to living on campus.

“Mostly to meet new people and I felt I could learn where things are faster if I lived on campus,” LaLiberte said.

Incoming freshman Grace Heyer said she never considered living anywhere else.

“I didn’t really think I had a choice,” Heyer said. “Also it seems a lot easier than living off- campus.”

Macke said Residence Life’s new Super Single rooms on select floors in Brady and Dowling and new Night Access policies announced in May paired with carpet, space and paint renovations happening this summer will hopefully be another draw for all students.

“Hopefully those things … will get some more people come in as the summer goes on,” Macke said. “We’re already seeing some more people come in and hopefully as the summer goes on we can see some more as well.”

Briggs LeSavage can be reached at lesa4364@stthomas.edu.

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