The Unspoken Housing Crisis of NCSU

A close friend recently told me “When I see those tour groups, I shout at them to not come here because there’s no room.” Not with malicious intent or to troll the rising freshmen or parents, but as a genuine attempt to warn them that there is simply insufficient housing available for its students. I also know someone who has been denied housing when transferring here. When you go onto the Subreddit for NCSU, you can find people disconcerted about their housing options at this university. As many go without dorm housing, upperclassmen are having to face the realities of getting an apartment they might not be able to afford. What is North Carolina State University going to do about this? 

Despite this ongoing issue, N.C. State still managed to enroll the largest class it has ever had in 2023. They enrolled 5,601 first years, yet only have a residence capacity of 9,422 when you exclude the Greek Villages. N.C. State admits on its housing website that “The Room Selection Application is a housing application that does not commit you to University Housing, nor guarantees you a space in housing.”

According to various accounts on the official NCSU subreddit, many weren’t even allowed to select a room during their assigned time block for registration. One Redditor with the username “TinyTigerTamer” writes: “Just looked at room selection since my slot didn’t open today and there are no rooms available. I also don’t have a roommate group because I was aiming for a single room again, so guess I’m screwed.” A lot of students appear to be stressed out over housing, especially in terms of pricing. Other NCSU Redditors discuss their worries about finding affordable housing off campus, as few apartments are near the university. 

University Towers will be freshman-only in 2024. This residence hall is one of the few NCSU provides with single-dorm housing for students receiving disability accommodations. UT has its own dining hall, and having one in the same building is vital for many with disabilities. However, disabled students who need single housing will no longer receive this accommodation if they are returning students. Many upperclassmen with disabilities who require living alone must live in Wood, Watauga, or Avent Ferry. 

People in Wood and Watauga will be an 8-minute walk away from the closest dining hall. For abled-bodied people, this is a fairly short distance. However, if you struggle with mobility issues, every minute matters and can be exhausting. Especially with the uneven brick sidewalks to keep up with the school’s red aesthetic. Emma Hamrick wrote about her temporary mobility issues on campus, stating, “Maybe it’s due to my inexperience with crutches, but I found myself tripping over crooked bricks every few minutes. Along with that, as an English major, most of my classes are in Tompkins and Caldwell. The distance from the accessible parking to my class is not very far, but the hill is decently steep. Every time I walk down that hill I struggle to maintain my balance with the crutches.” 

A resident at University Towers, Lucy Liu, agreed to a brief interview about the circumstances of the housing situation. A residence formerly known for upperclassmen is now going to become freshmen only. Like many other students, she could not get a room assignment on campus for the next academic year. On top of this, like many other UT residents, she assumed priority would be given to her to return to the building.When asked about the housing accommodations for those who receive Disability Resources Office Accommodations not getting a space at UT unless they’re rising freshmen, she wrote, “I felt disappointed, the school should at least provide people with DRO accommodations and upperclassmen a place at UT.” She believes that the mandatory requirement for freshmen to live on campus can help ease this crisis for upperclassmen, stating that “There’s definitely a housing crisis now. I heard a friend working at Valentine Commons saying usually apartment housing prices go up by 12% but this year it was 21% due to too many first-years needing housing.”

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