Housing is a hot commodity on North Dakota State’s campus, as Jason Medders knows.
The associate director for Residence Life said despite a recent letter by Dean Bresciani in which the university president wrote that “about 600 sophomores” are turned away for housing, students on Residence Life’s wait list for housing traditionally receive a room.
“The message that we always give, those who stick it out, historically, always get a space,” Medders said.
Bresciani wrote a Nov. 12 letter to The Forum outlining his plan for enrolling 18,000 students at NDSU by 2018 in response to North Dakota University System chancellor Mark Hagerott’s resistant comments weeks earlier.
In his letter, Bresciani highlighted the need for campus housing, writing, “We currently turn away about 600 sophomore students who want to live on campus, so we will be requesting approval for additional housing capacity to accommodate their needs.”
This statement contradicted one by Residence Life director Rian Nostrum, who told The Spectrum in February that “I’ve never contacted an upperclass student (from the waiting list) and said, ‘Sorry, we don’t have housing.'”
Medders said Nostrum and Bresciani’s statements “are true,” but to some extent.
“When Rian said, ‘Yeah, everyone on the waitlist who sticks it out, gets a spot,’ well that’s true,” he said. “When the president says we turn people away, that’s also true, but we don’t tell people, ‘You cannot live here.'”
The application process for living on campus at NDSU generally begins two weeks before spring break in late February, Medders said.
The room signup process for freshmen choosing to live on campus for their sophomore year involves agreeing to and submitting a housing license, selecting a residence hall and roommates.
Meddlers said about 1,100 students return annually for housing and that Residence Life typically has more students “that want to return than” the campus has space for.
“It’s a good problem,” he said. “We’re in the housing business. We consistently have to create waitlists.”
Of the 1,100 students returning for housing, about 200 to 300 are waitlisted, Medders said.
For a number of reasons, all students on the waitlist receive a room assignment, but no students are officially turned away, he added.
“There are couple of different things that will occur to those on the waitlist,” Medders said. “Some of them are going to say, ‘You know what? It’s already early July. I don’t know where I’m gonna live yet. I’m gonna make my own arrangements elsewhere.'”
Students will take themselves off the waitlist because of housing uncertainty, family concerns, departing NDSU, financial aid issues or other arrangements, Medders said.
“So that waitlist gets shorter and shorter” over spring and summer, he added.
Meanwhile, those students remaining on the waitlist from late February to (potentially) move-in day in late August will receive a room.
And historically, that is what has happened, Medders said.
“Traditionally, everybody who stays on the waitlist and sticks it out gets a room,” he said.