Overcrowding could put some VCU students in temporary lounges


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Due to overcrowding, some Virginia Commonwealth University freshman will be forced to stay in common lounge areas instead of their dorm rooms. This development comes as students prepare for the first day of classes next week.

More than a dozen students assigned to live in Gladding Residence Center won’t get their own rooms when they move in this weekend. University officials told 8News that they expect the biggest incoming freshman class ever this upcoming semester and the housing concerns will only be temporary.

Sarah Welch, a rising VCU freshman, decided to live off campus this semester. She spoke with 8News Friday while sharing a tour of her new place near campus.

“We have a pretty big fridge and freezer with a lot of space in it,” she said. “In here we have a washer and a dryer.”

Welch said her and her sister didn’t want to deal with on-campus housing. Dr. Reuben Rodriguez, Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at VCU, told 8News that roughly 6,000 people live on campus and the demand is growing.

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“Classes start on Tuesday,” Rodriguez said, “so sometimes students for whatever reason decided not to come to VCU. Therefore, we have spaces that students can move into, and we want to get them into spaces as quickly as possible.”

Welch’s mother, Laurie, said she wouldn’t want her children living in a temporary spot.

“As a mom, I would just pull and put them in an apartment,” she explained. “My girls are sharing a beautiful apartment for less than it would cost them to be in housing.”

As the demand for on-campus housing continues to grow, plans for more housing at VCU is in the works. It’s part of the university’s new master plan.

First-year students will start moving in on Saturday.

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