Taylor Place dorms are overflowing with freshmen, causing ASU Housing to reassign students to new living quarters off campus.
With the most diverse class this year, all four campuses have increased in freshmen enrollment, raising the downtown campus population “up by 3 percent with 1,500 freshmen,” according to ASU Now. At ASU, first-time freshmen are typically expected to live in on campus residence halls.
Taylor Place only holds 1,284 residents, according to the downtown campus Dean of Students, Sharon Smith. Currently, there are about 40 freshmen living at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in downtown Phoenix, Smith said.
Students residing at the Sheraton are assigned a roommate, promoting a similar on-campus housing experience as Taylor Place, Smith said. In addition, community assistants host hall meetings and do door knocks to make sure students are getting involved on campus.
Pamela Barra Avila, a Phoenix native majoring in nursing and community health, said she had little notice of her living arrangements prior to her move-in date.
“The University didn’t email me until a week before move in that there is an overflow of freshmen and that I have to stay at the Sheraton,” she said.
In addition, Avila said University housing told her that her stay at the Sheraton would be temporary, lasting only two weeks. However, she was recently informed it will last until the end of her first semester.
All students living in the Sheraton have been given 24/7 key-card access to Taylor Place, according to ASU Housing. Students living in the Sheraton must carry their laundry down the street to Taylor Place to have access to a washer and dryer, Avila said.
“We are continuing to look at amenities on-site at the Sheraton for the students and continue give them access to everything at Taylor Place,” Smith said.
Mya Soto, a freshman studying journalism, was assigned to live at the Sheraton as well after a summer of uncertainty.
“Housing kept sending updates all summer guaranteeing I would get assigned a dorm at the beginning of August," she said. "I called them, and the next day, they gave me a change of plans and said I would be reassigned to living in the Sheraton.”
After staying five days at the Sheraton, she was moved to live in Taylor Place.
Despite moving twice to start, Soto said she is excited and focused for this semester.
While some freshmen students were relocated to the Sheraton, a portion of upperclassmen students were relocated to Tempe. The official number of upperclassmen who were moved to Tempe is unknown.
“We explored all options in identifying the best places to house our students," Smith said. "(Given) what was available, we were able to house our students."
Brielle Ashford, a junior studying journalism, is one of the many students who was moved to off-campus apartments at Union Tempe.
Ashford wakes up at 5 a.m. to commute downtown for her internship.
“I have an internship downtown at 7:30 a.m. across the street from Taylor Place,” Ashford said. “I wanted to stay in Taylor Place so I can be close to my internship and be able to study abroad in Cape Town, South Africa next year without having to worry about moving out of an apartment.”
Now that Ashford lives in Tempe, it takes her 30 minutes to get to downtown Phoenix on the ASU shuttle.
The Valley Metro light rail is not an option for Ashford because it does not leave early enough for her to arrive on time, and an Uber costs about $24 roundtrip, according to Ashford. In addition, Ashford’s car is currently in her hometown Detroit, Michigan.
Ashford, Avila and Soto said all students were emailed by ASU Housing outlining their options, but received different information about those options.
ASU Housing is looking at building more residential halls for students in the future, according to Smith. She also said that for the upcoming spring semester, University Housing will "evaluate growth on all campuses."
“We are looking at multiple options including residential facilities for upperclassmen," Smith said. "We are looking at what is needed and will be working with the University’s architect office, housing office and the city of Phoenix."