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New housing on ASU campus won't necessarily fix problems seen in past

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JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - In 2007 and again in 2012, some students at Arkansas State University had to stay in hotels until they could find a permanent home on campus. With new housing going up on campus, Region 8 News looked into whether or not this would alleviate problems with housing.

Five sorority houses are being built on University Loop, giving ASU a "Sorority Row" to match "Fraternity Row".

"We need something like this and I'm glad that it's finally happening," Chi Omega sorority member, Ivy Hildebrand told Region 8 News. She said though it's long overdue, she and her sisters are happy about the progress.

"It's so exciting. We've never had anything like this before," Hildebrand said.

Approximately 20 girls will get to live in each of the five sorority houses being built on University Loop. Couple that with the latest addition to the honors living community, that Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Dr. Rick Stripling said will add roughly 104 new beds to campus.

"Right now we're at 3,000 people, 3,000 beds. Next fall we'll be at 3,200," Stripling said.

Dr. Stripling said the roughly 200 beds that they'll be adding to campus won't necessarily alleviate problems they've had in the past.

"Honors folks are currently in Kays Hall, the overflow is over there," Dr. Stripling said. He explained that once the new honors dorms open up, those students will move over to the Honors Living Community. Dr. Stripling said that will, in turn, offer some relief to the housing situation. But, he added, the ultimate goal is to make ASU a "residential campus."

"The national housing organizations recognize that if your 30% enrollment is on campus, they consider you a residential campus," Dr. Stripling said. Dr. Stripling said that ASU is currently at that 30% mark so they don't plan on adding much more housing. "Somewhere between 3,500 and 3,700 (beds) is about where we'd like to be."

As for the sorority members, they're just glad to finally have a place they can call theirs.

"It'll give us a better sense of pride and we'll be able to show it off a little bit," Hildebrand explained.

Dr. Stripling anticipates the new honors dorm and the sorority houses to all be complete by the time the fall semester rolls around next year.

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