High Retention Rates Cause Housing Shortage At OU

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Ohio University students are living in closer quarters than ever. 

This is due to the highest retention rate the university has seen since 1972, meaning more sophomore and upperclassmen decided to stay on campus.

Freshman are especially effected; many rooms meant to house two  freshmen students are now housing three.

Alex Denning is one of the students suffering from these changes. "I already know they were giving us somebody we didn't know," Denning said. "I wasn't so upset about that, I just knew we were going to be so cramped for space."

Executive Director of Housing Pete Trentacoste says his department did their best to inform the students of the changes as soon as possible.

"Initially we went an email to approximately 320 students and said you may get an extra roommate. We also told all of the RAs tha they might get an extra roommate," Trentacoste said. "By the time we got to opening, a little less than 1% of the overall student population received a temporary roommate."

One percent doesn't sound like a lot but it translates to more than 100 students being effected from the dorm shortages.

Those effected are being compensated with $300 but are still in a compromising situation.

We reached out to RAs and their new roommates to see how they were dealing with the situation but were told they are not allowed to speak to media.

Trentacoste said multiple factors are to blame for the current situation.

"What we didn't predict is that we were going to be admitting additional sophomores beyond what our past trends have had," he said. "So if anything, we're saying oh my goodness, we may have retained too many students. Well that really is a good problem to have."

Construction has already begun for the addition of 900 beds on South Green, which Trentacoste says will prevent the problem in the coming years.

Trentacoste says he and his team are working to get all students into permanent accommodation as quickly as possible.