Washburn residential living sitting at capacity

Kelsie O'Connell

When freshman arrive at Washburn University, most typically live on campus. But this year, many students have been forced on to a waiting list due to the lack of available rooms on campus.

Near the middle of July, rooms in the Living Learning Center, Kuehne and West halls and the Washburn Village apartments became unavailable, forcing students to choose different housing plans off campus.

Luckily, a majority of students on the waiting list live in the Topeka area. Although these students are closer to campus, this does not give non-local students precedence over local students who sent in their housing applications earlier.

In addition to a waiting list, the issue of fully capacitated rooms also poses a problem for students already living on campus. The Washburn policy notes that there is a two week holding period for the switching of rooms or roommates. Subsequently, students will not be able to switch rooms for most of the year, rather than only two weeks.

“Assuming we don’t have any openings, it’s not possible to move students,” said Kate McCown, Assistant Director of Residential Living.

Indeed, a few international students are temporarily living with host families, since they did not get their housing contracts completed on time. These homes are available only to international students at this time. The network of host families has previously invited international students to their homes throughout breaks, so the students did not have to spend holidays alone.

“That’s not to say they won’t get placed in September or October,” said McCown. “I think once we start calling the wait list, we’re going to find a lot of students have found alternative housing.”

The fact that rooms are full are definitely causing problems to potential Washburn students. With no place to live, it may be difficult for students to attend Washburn University. McCown adds, “There has been some tensions, but we really have worked hard to help them, perhaps, find a better situation off campus,” said McCown.

In the spring, more rooms are likely to become available, due to the graduating seniors. As for the switching of roommates, that will have to be put on the back burner for now. McCown adds her personal advice: “You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate. That doesn’t mean you’re not good roommates,” said McCown.