As enrollment increased tremendously at Grambling State University for the new school year, Residential Life has had to make some changes to house students. One of the biggest changes was making Knott a co-ed freshman dorm, which had originally been strictly freshman boys. The enrollment of female students has gone up and housing quickly needed to plan to take in new Tigers. To get more insight about the housing for this school year we talked to Gourjoine Wade, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs.
“We saw a growth in the number of young women that wanted to stay on campus. Instead of trying to create spaces off campus for those students, we decided that we have the opportunity to have one of our locations to be a floor exclusively for those young women,” Wade said.
This has been the biggest freshmen class in some time. Along with trying to get new incoming students situated with their housing, priority was for returning students. More housing options were made out to upperclassmen to create more space for everyone. Grambling recieved a contract with Campus Evolution in Ruston for students with reliable transportation, as well as the university’s West Campus.
“We contracted with Campus Evolution, which increased the housing inventory to 100 spaces. In addition to that West campus was another option for students as well. We have opened almost 200 additional spaces to try to accommodate to students and the growth that we have been seeing,” said Wade.
The Department of Residential Life tries to encourage students to register their business early in order to be able to get a room assignment. July 1, 2018 was the deadline for students to have all of their finances and academics in order to secure their housing space. For those who applied for housing after the deadline were put on a wait list. That wait list led to be about 300 students waiting for a room assignment.
“Every student that was put on a waitlist was offered. Some students did decline, not wanting certain rooms or having certain preferences based off of their own budgets,” Wade stated.
Most students off the wait list however did decide to accept the rooms that were offered.
The future of Residential Life is moving the entire process online from applying for a room assignment to checking on move-in day. Students can now pre-house online and see what spaces are available and make payments online as well. They have already tested out the process on this past move-in day on August 12, 2018.
“We had over 2,200 students who checked in before they physically came to campus, which expedited the check in process. That was a glimpse of what the future of residence life will look like,” said Wade.
As enrollment continues to increase, the department expects to face further growth challenges. Residential life does not see it as a negative thing but a way to let students know on what they need to do in regards to preparing to coming to Grambling.