Housing preparations being made for more students

Daily Sundial

In conjunction with CSUN’s Envision 2035 plan, Residential Life and University Conference Services is preparing to accommodate the growing number of students on campus.

The plan calls for CSUN to work with the San Fernando Valley and surrounding areas to improve the campus to meet the needs of the students and the community in the next 30 years.

Phil Gin, associate director of Business and Hospitality Services for CSUN’s Residential Life and University Conference Services, said they are trying to find more places for students to live.

“We will continue to look for opportunities to increase the number of bed spaces we can offer,” Gin said. “Some housing facilities that are currently used for non-housing purposes will be brought back (into use) for student occupancy, and we’ll continue to look at our use of bed spaces each year.”

Building more housing is another option, Gin said.

“We are looking at the feasibility of building additional housing in stages, but not all at once,” he said. “This will allow us to grow at a reasonable pace.”

Currently, Residential Life and University Conference Services has a waiting list for the 2005-06 school year. This demand for on-campus student housing has been consistent for the past five years, said Debbie Quinlan Kolstad, manager of business services for student housing.

“We have had an increasing demand for housing, and have maintained (waiting) lists for years,” Quinlan Kolstad said.

Quinlan Kolstad said she thinks the housing demand is due to the increasing price for rent in surrounding off-campus areas, and the fact that student housing gives students a built-in support system with resident advisers and other housing staff members.

“I think incoming students like knowing that they have a place to live that is very comparable to what is offered off campus,” Quinlan Kolstad said. “First year students also want the ‘college experience’ of living on campus. Our housing allows them to have some independence of living on their own, but there’s still a safety net if they need it.”

In order to accommodate the increasing number of students seeking to live on campus, Residential Life and University Conference Services in the past year has developed an online application process that allows students to print out license agreement packets.

Gin said this has shortened the process of applying for student housing. In the past, students had to mail in their applications and wait for confirmation by mail, he said. The whole process used to take several weeks.

Though Residential Life plans to increase the number of beds provided to students seeking on-campus housing, Quinlan Kolstad said she recommends students to apply for housing as soon as possible, in order to ensure them spots.

“We recommend that new students apply (for housing) to the university,” Quinlan Kolstad said. “This will ensure that new students have access to housing once they decide to attend CSUN.”