Go West this summer and get ahead.

Pricing and overflow accommodation still a housing concern

Gawon Bae, junior at Georgia State University, shows us her living corridors for the last three years, Piedmont North and the Commons. Photo by Vanessa Johnson | The Signal

Student housing made local news earlier this semester for overbudgetting the amount of students they’d be able to accommodate. As a result, over 400 students were moved from the nearby Sheraton hotel, to on-campus dorms as surprise-roommates to other students. The department rewarded all students affected with a cut in pricing, which for many was a break they were more than eager to get.

“I would have had to pay $4,764 to have my own room, but I only paid about $3,000 to share,” Georgia State student Prue Benson said. Benson lived in an apartment in Commons, and shared his room with another student. “It was a good deal, and now they’re taking it away.”

Housing told Benson they are trying to make the University Commons single occupancy again, and are making an effort to accommodate all overflow students this spring.

URGE Abortion

But now, with promises from housing that all overflow students will be moved out, students like Benson feel stuck in a horse race trying to reserve a room for next semester that wouldn’t cost them too much, with the special pricing deals gone.

“I’m not concerned about next semester’s pricing because we have different options available,” he said. “I’m concerned that the affordable options will fill up before I can get one though and that I’ll be forced into an expensive room I don’t want.”

To prevent that from happening, Benson said he visited the housing office days before Thanksgiving break, to ask about the process of finding a space next semester. They asked him to wait until Thanksgiving break, when they’d send out an email with all the relevant information. Benson said he never received an email with further information.

But Director of University Housing Randy Brown told The Signal all residents were informed of housing procedures close to two weeks ago.

“Communication outlining the room selection process and procedures were emailed to residents,” he said.
But the race may be on, as students that were affected by the overflow had a special advantage for this spring.

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“All students that were residing in fall overflow housing assignments participated in an exclusive room selection process last week,” Brown said. “Several students expressed a desire to remain in their current shared assignment. These students and their current roommates emailed University Housing with their request to stay in their current shared assignments.”

Back in August, Brown told The Signal all roommates affected by the overflow would get close to a $1400 reduction in their housing fees. That was the case for all four roommates affected in any room in the Commons, but not in the Lofts.

Sophomore Michael Bernardini had his own room in the lofts, but had to accommodate two overflow students in his apartment.

“One of them moved two days later,” he said, after being accommodated by housing in another room. “But they couldn’t find anything for Ian,” he said about the second affected student.

What surprised Bernardini the most however, was an empty room on his floor that the RA was not aware about.

“We were at the floor meeting, and there was a guy that was asking about an empty room [in the floor] and if one of his friends could move there,” Bernardini said. “[The RA] said he was unaware of the empty room and that it would be filled by someone in the overflow in the [spring] semester, or someone on the waitlist.”

But Brown said university housing is always actively tracking occupancy in all residence halls.

New, better, more expensive options

Rumors have also surfaced of a new luxurious student residence popping up near Georgia State’s campus which would give students a larger variety of housing options.

According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Georgia State’s famous Shell gas station on 160 John Wesley Dobbs Ave. is being redesigned while a new luxury student housing facility will be built on 120 Piedmont Avenue NE. The new residence building is expected to be 26 stories high with around 650 beds in 228 units. Doors are expected to open in the fall of 2019.

To some students, off-campus housing options are often better, because with almost the same money, they get more amenities.

“I think that alternative options for housing are great,” Dylon Ramsey, a One12 resident said. “If you break down the costs of on-campus versus off-campus housing, the difference isn’t that significant. For almost the same price I get my own room, bathroom, easy access to the pool and our fitness facility.”

According to the Preston Partnership’s official website, on top of the facility’s parking deck will be a resort style pool with a view of the Georgia State campus. The poolside area will be connected to an indoor space that will include a lounge and fitness center. Additionally, on the 26th floor there will be a sky lounge and a rooftop terrace.

Raylyn Robinson, a Georgia State sophomore, has concerns that although the apartments will be close to be campus that they may not be affordable for college students.

“I think that another addition to the off campus living options is a great idea,” said Robinson. “However, I hope that even though the location of the building is convenient, that the prices will be affordable since they will be geared towards students.”

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