Kentucky’s campus has quickly outgrown itself.
After investing millions of dollars into revitalizing campus with a new student center, science building and state of the art dormitories, UK is running out of room to house students. There are more than 5,240 freshmen currently enrolled for fall semester classes and a record 2,425 students returning to on-campus housing, leaving UK housing with at least 500 overbooked room assignments.
UK spokesperson Jay Blanton told LEX-18 the problem is only temporary.
“The value of a University of Kentucky degree is exemplified by our record first-year enrollment and record retention rates. More students, both first-year and returning, want to live in our on-campus housing because we know that decision results in higher grade point averages and great academic success. The result is a temporary capacity issue. With student success as our core value, our residence life and housing staff are developing solutions in partnership with our resident advisers. We will communicate a more specific plan this week and will be communicating directly with students and parents. We will honor our obligations and ensure that UK students who have a fall 2019 housing application to live on campus will receive an assignment.”
While UK works to find a permanent solution for each student before the beginning of the fall semester, they’re converting other residence hall rooms into dorms. Some study rooms and single rooms for resident advisors (RAs) are transforming into two-person dorm rooms. Those who will not receive the expected room accommodations will save just under $800 a semester and receive an additional $200 in flex money to spend on campus dining.
You’ll never believe this, but it’s made some prospective students BIG MAD.
More than 2,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org, “Kentucky’s RA’s Demand Better.” One disgruntled student has created an Instagram page titled, “uk_housing_sucks.” This page has filed 17 grievances with UK’s Housing authority. The images of the living conditions will haunt parents who are forced to send their child to live in such a desolate environment.
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If you could not sniff that sarcasm, you probably didn’t live in the Kirwin-Blanding Complex, Haggin-Donovan or the old North Campus complex that did not have air-conditioning.
The new dorms are immaculate. It’s a shame not every person will get to experience them right away. For those who drew the short straw, consider it the first (and likely the easiest) life lesson you’ll learn in college.