Students Ready for Residence Halls

JONESBORO, AR -- A couple dozen Arkansas State University students are living in hotel rooms for their first week.

Freshman Henry Gray told K8 News that he's disappointed to be living in a hotel for his first week of school.

"I was just ready to be stable, you know?" said Gray.

"I was kind of mad at first.  I was thinking I was going to get right into a room," said Freshman Brad Sims.

Several ASU students found out last week that they would be rooming in a hotel for the foreseeable future, but progress is being made.

"We started out with 73 students staying there on Sunday and we've gotten that number down to 25," said Patrick Dixon, Director of Residence Life at ASU.

This is the first year that freshmen have been required to live on campus at ASU and Dixon said that has impacted the University's available space.

"Students now see the value of living on campus they have embraced the convenience of living on campus," said Dixon.

That convenience is one thing the students living at Comfort Inn and Suites are missing out on.

"It's frustrating because you've got to wait on the shuttle bus and get up early depending on when your classes start," said Sims.

"I don't mind being in a hotel.  It's all getting to school on time.  I can't afford to miss class, you miss points like that," said Gray.

But Dixon said the situation was unavoidable.

"All of the people who are out in the hotel sent their applications in the last two weeks right before we opened," said Dixon.

The Residence Life staff will spend the next couple of days going through their records and calling the students they've reserved rooms for and if those people have decided not to attend ASU they can give those rooms to some of the waiting students.

"We're going to try our very best to get everybody on to campus and out of the hotel by the weekend," said Dixon.

The secret to avoiding this in the future: sign up early!  University officials said the quicker you sign up for a room, the quicker you can get in.

It seems ASU will be getting some new space for on campus residents soon.  Dixon told K8 News that there are plans in the works to build another residence building and another set of apartments like the one's that are already on campus.