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ResLife preps for returnees

Liz O'Donnell | Tuesday, November 25, 2008

As students return from their Study Abroad experiences next semester, the Office of Residence Life and Housing (ORLH) has been working to ensure students requesting on-campus housing will be able to receive rooms.

According to the ORLH Web site, Notre Dame’s 28 residence halls have space for over 6,200 students. In any normal year, these dorms are completely full during the fall semester, but are only filled to about 95% capacity during the spring semester.

Scott Kachmarik, associate director of ResLife, said there should be no problem accommodating the students returning to campus for the Spring Semester.

“Overall, there will be plenty of room,” he said.

Kachmarik also said there may be issues with overcrowding in specific dorms.

“There are a few halls that are experiencing a problem of more residents returning than leaving,” he said.

ResLife, however, is working to fix this issue to attempt to accommodate students who wish to live in a specific dorm.

“Many of those will be resolved by January and the few that cannot be assigned to their hall will be accommodated as groups in other halls,” he said.

While there are no official numbers yet, Kachmarik estimates there will be around 350 students returning from Study Abroad programs. He also said there are around 20 students returning to campus from off-campus venues.

As for new students, there are five new freshmen that will be moving into the dorms for the spring semester. Also, there will be an additional 20-30 transfer students who will be welcomed into the dorms as well.

While the majority of the traffic moving in and out of the dorms is attributed to students studying abroad, there are a small number of students who have chosen to move off-campus for the remainder of the school year.

“I believe the last I heard was that somewhere between 5 and 7 residents were breaking their contract to move off-campus. That number will grow slightly as we usually have around 10 or so cancel in the spring semester,” Kachmarik said.

With the addition of Duncan Hall came 30 extra beds for undergraduate male students. While there are over 100 dorm rooms in the dormitory, most of these were used as a way to loosen the congestion in other residence halls.

“The effect of Duncan is that we are able to reduce overcrowding and open up lounges and room configurations that create a ladder-effect whereby students can attained more desirable room set-ups as they progress through to their Senior year,” Kachmarik said.

Overall, ResLife does not anticipate any problems with the transition to the Spring Semester.

“Right now it appears to be about normal,” Kachmarik said.