As rooms in residence halls are filled, fewer students are able to live on campus. Instead of focusing on projects like Mirabella at ASU, and new research buildings such as the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 7, ASU should provide for students and guarantee them a place to live.
"I'm off-campus and live an hour away. I couldn't get housing because the housing downtown is so limited," said Chloe Hom, sophomore medical studies major.
Lack of housing is a big issue, especially for low-income students, as it adds to the stress of their daily lives. The inability to meet basic needs leaves them with negative academic performance, lowers the ability to concentrate in class, and causes feelings of sadness and hopelessness.
There is an ASU subreddit thread dedicated to this problem where students complain ASU doesn't have enough housing for the number of students they accept. One user said, "It doesn't matter how inclusive ASU is if they don't provide the resources beyond an acceptance letter."
ASU has an acceptance rate of 88.2%. In addition, ASU has been increasing its total enrollment. In Fall 2020, ASU had a total enrollment of 128,788, rising to 135,729 in 2021. With a continuous increase in students, ASU should expect their housing crisis to worsen.
Meanwhile, more upper-division accommodations are being turned into freshman housing and are no longer offered as on-campus options, leaving fewer living options for upperclassmen.
Upper-division students look forward to living on campus in the coming semesters, but they are disheartened by ASU Housing's responses and the lack of student support from ASU. Students are told to check back later if housing fills up. In addition, high gas prices have made this situation even more challenging for commuting students.
"I have a part-time job and thought it would be more convenient to live on campus, go to classes and then go to work. But now I don't think I'll be able to because all of the housing has reached maximum capacity," said Geneva Vu, a sophomore medical studies major.
ASU encourages upper-division students to live in nearby buildings and find housing off-campus because on-campus housing isn't guaranteed. ASU's nearby off-campus housing is not affordable and doesn't provide the best service for students, with many residents complaining about cleanliness and maintenance issues.
According to a University spokesperson, "ASU celebrated the opening of a new facility with living space for more than 500 students downtown and are set to open more housing buildings in 2024." However, there is still a lack of affordable housing, leaving students feeling stressed, anxious and distracted from their schoolwork.
"The housing system is completely disorganized, understaffed and overpriced," Hom said.
Students have tried to get in touch with housing but receive vague responses like "Check back in early February," Hom said.
ASU is supposed to provide students with healthy living conditions and multiple housing options if they will continue accepting a high number of students.
"I imagine if ASU wanted to make more money, they would put more resources into housing, but I guess that ASU doesn't really care about their students," Hom said.
ASU should consider its housing capacity when deciding to invest in other projects as this problem isn't likely to be solved anytime soon. Instead, it's affecting the ASU community severely leaving students frustrated.
Editor's note: The opinions presented in this column are the author's and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.
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