By Annie Liebman
A surge in freshman admissions has caused an on-campus housing crunch. As a result, continuing third and fourth-year students are looking elsewhere for places to live.
David Moutrie, a third-year from Stevenson and a former RA, was surprised to hear that first- and second-years would receive priority this year.
“I was virtually positive I was going to get into the apartments. We were lucky we found a place [off campus],” said Moutrie, who along with his roommates offered $200 more than the asking price of their new home.
Although Moutrie was fortunate to find a place off campus, he would prefer to live on campus. “[Living off campus] you have to schedule your classes close together, otherwise you are waiting around [on campus] with nothing to do and nowhere to go,” Moutrie said.
He added that because there are so many students living off campus, the city buses tend to fill up quickly and sometimes don’t stop at his stop.
Tim Stephens, director of UC Santa Cruz’s Public Information Office, said that the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District [SCMTD] runs the Metro buses, while UCSC is in control of the on-campus shuttles.
Despite concerns over public transportation, SCMTD created “27 Express” this year, a new route that provides limited stops between Pacific Station and UCSC for those students living off campus.
For incoming students, the online UCSC Housing Guarantee states that there is a two-year housing guarantee for transfer students, while those who are involved in the Education Opportunity Program (EOP) are guaranteed four years.
Freshmen who are not a part of EOP are only guaranteed housing for two years. However, UCSC assists students in renting locally once they are no longer guaranteed a spot on campus. The Community Rentals Office provides access to local listings and tips for house hunting.
Jean Marie Scott, associate director for housing at UCSC, weighed in on the effects of the current housing crunch.
According to Scott, UCSC had to expand on-campus housing in order to accommodate all the incoming freshmen. This included “converting several lounges across the 10 colleges to student housing for either double, triple or quad occupancy,” Scott wrote in an e-mail.
Rose Owens, a second-year student affiliated with Kresge, is currently living in a double that was converted from a single. “It’s pretty crowded [and] we trip over stuff a lot,” Owens said. “It would be nice to have a bigger room.”
While students are adjusting to tight quarters, Scott said that there are plans to create more housing in the future.
“As campus enrollment increases,” Scott said, “we will continue to add additional housing capacity through the reconfiguration of our current housing or through the construction of new facilities.”
For more information, visit the UCSC housing website at: http://housing.ucsc.edu.