GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — With school starting in just a few weeks, some students at Grand Valley State University are scrambling to find housing as the university welcomes a large incoming class.
According to GVSU, freshmen are required to live on campus. In order to make room for the first-year students, some upperclassman students who wanted to live on campus are now being forced to live elsewhere.
Kimberly Kerstin, an Illinois resident, told News 8 her son is a junior at GVSU. She said her son still hasn’t received a housing assignment and had to look elsewhere for housing.
“There was just no solidified answer,” Kerstin said. “That’s what we were counting on this whole time.”
But Kerstin and her son aren’t the only ones having this issue: Multiple students and parents have told News 8 they’re also without housing.
“(My son) registered on the later side, but he also has done that after his freshman year,” said Kerstin. “He registered, like, early spring, late winter. And we thought everything was fine.”
But just a few weeks ago, her son received an email from the university.
“First, he heard that there was a chance he just wouldn’t be living with his roommate, which — we were already frustrated by that,” Kerstin said. “And then, as things evolved more, he honestly was never actually given an email that said specifically he didn’t have housing. It just kept stating there was just no guarantee, there was no guarantee.”
Kerstin then reached out to the school, demanding answers as to why her son was still without a housing assignment.
“It just would’ve been nice if they at least told the families,” she said. “We were never told, never informed that this could even be a possibility. I felt like as a parent of a 20-year-old, I shouldn’t have had to email housing, but it got to that point. … And I did just feel like, they made me feel like they were annoyed that I was even emailing them.”
News 8 reached out to GVSU to figure out why some upperclassmen were experiencing a housing shortage.
In a statement, the university said:
“Grand Valley is excited to welcome one of the largest incoming classes in its history this fall. Even with this increase in enrollment, every student who requests a housing option will receive one. While the vast majority of incoming students have already received assignments, about 40 first-year students from West Michigan who applied to GVSU after May 1 are being offered an option to commute to campus at the beginning of the semester. Those who choose to commute will have an on-campus housing option no later than the winter semester. Those who decline to or who are unable to commute will either be placed on-campus as rooms become available or offered a campus-adjacent apartment space to start the semester. We are also in contact with off-campus housing providers, many of whom tell us they have an ample supply of available housing. Grand Valley has contracted with an off-campus apartment vendor to provide overflow housing. This overflow housing will be staffed with Housing and Residence Life staff and will be patrolled by the Grand Valley Police Department in the same way as on-campus housing options. Assignments are still being made every day and anyone who has questions or concerns can call our Housing and Residence Life office at (616) 331-2120 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Kerstin said moving forward, she hopes GVSU can be better at communicating.
“Just at least start telling the upperclassman who are looking to be on campus, because we know now, they’re going to be the last ones placed,” she said.