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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Overpopulation forces freshmen into hotel living

hotel+living
hotel living

Each year before the beginning of the fall semester, frantic parents and excited students fill the dorm halls of Texas State during move-in day. This year, the move-in day looked different for some students. Instead of finding the crowded halls of a dorm, they found themselves swiping keycards to enter hotel rooms.
On Sept. 23, the Office of Media Relations at Texas State confirmed the largest number of freshman enrollment at the university. The record-setting freshman enrollment of 7,573 students is a 14% increase over the past year. While the number of students increased, the number of dorm rooms available did not.
About two and a half miles away from campus, freshmen like Jayden Booker, a business major, are spread throughout three floors of a Holiday Inn along with resident assistants (RA) for each floor. They all share a common sentiment about the inconvenience and little communication they have with Texas State and the Department of Housing and Residential Life (DHL).
“We don’t get any emails other than when they tell us it’s time to move or that they found a space for us,” Booker said.
Texas State requires all freshmen under the age of 20 years old with fewer than 30 credit hours to live on campus. For students like Isaiah Theus, a business administration freshman, living on campus was something he looked forward to.
“I was excited to be on campus and close to my classes, I’m pretty sure I would’ve definitely been able to make more friends if I was on campus,” Theus said. “It changes having to take the shuttle back and you can’t be on campus too late because the shuttle stops at certain times. That’s the big difference for sure.”
Theus isn’t the only one having issues with utilizing the shuttles, Booker also feels as if he doesn’t get the convenience other students living on campus do.
“Everybody else is on campus like they can wake up five minutes before class, we have to wake up 30 minutes to an hour just to make it on time,” Booker said. “If we do drive then we have to worry about parking, but most of us don’t take our cars because there’s no parking left.”
Students were left surprised when latest bus shuttle routes were changed on them without an email sent. Instead of having their own route, the hotel residents now have to share a shuttle with the Wonder World route which stops at multiple locations prolonging their ride to campus.
Not only has it caused inconveniences for these freshmen, but it has made room for loneliness to linger. Ethan Aguilar, a civil engineering student, said the disconnect has affected his first year at Texas State.
“I remember I visited a friend of mine last semester, and I was just sitting in his dorm and we were like watching a TV show, and then there would be probably like five or 10 people that would walk just past and like spend like a couple of minutes just drop by, you know, and you don’t get that at the hotel,” Aguilar said. “There’s a bit of a disconnect between hotel life and dorm life.”
Brandon Sosa, an electrical engineering freshman, struggles with the Wi-Fi connection at the hotel and sees that as a major issue for students trying to get coursework done.
“The Wi-Fi is really slow, it’s not strong enough for all of us to be on it at the same time, and if I want to work on homework late at the library I can’t take a shuttle to get there,” Sosa said.
While these students are staying in the hotel, other guests are also on the same floors as them which raises safety concerns for the RA’s like Evelyn Calixto, an accounting sophomore.
“It is concerning because you never know how people are, we were supposed to have door decks, but there’s an AD [assistant director] staying here and she doesn’t feel comfortable with other people, just random people knowing where students stay,” Calixto said. “You never know what other people’s intentions are.” 
The timeline for students to be relocated is unclear, however, when they do get their new room assignments, they are only given a short period to move according to RA Asia Cathey, a political science sophomore, who has recently been given a move-out date.
“I feel just how a lot of the residents feel because they also got assignments to the halls at random times in the week and they’re like, ‘you have to be out by like this weekend or in the next few days.’ So I feel like how they’re feeling,” Cathay said.
Students who did not bring their cars with them to Texas State and are forced to move-out in such short notice have to make arrangements to move all their belongs while also balancing classes and homework. Not having adequate time worries both the freshmen residents and their RA’s.
RA Yarene Garcia, a psychology sophomore, feels left in the dark and hopes a change is on the way before it is too late.
“If this is more of a permanent thing like for the rest of the semester, we really hope people start communicating with us, the more higher-ups and the DHL, give us information going forward, especially because the freshmen ask us questions that we have no idea the answer to,” Garcia said. “We hope that further on that they can give us some information that we can get to our freshmen.”

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