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With record enrollment projected to continue, some students want UC to address its housing shortage

Posted at 6:37 PM, Mar 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-14 18:37:43-04

CINCINNATI — Some students at the University of Cincinnati are asking the school to address a housing shortage after years of increasing student enrollment.

Since 2015, UC enrollment has increased from about 44,000 students to nearly 48,000 students.

"I think it's really cool that the university is growing, but I think they need to consider more on the infrastructure that they have available to support their students versus how many students they can actually admit," said Alexandra Fernholz, a third-year student.

Others agree. A UC student group called the Young Democratic Socialists started a petition which has about 1,200 signatures. Some of the things they're asking for include more transparency around housing and the number of incoming freshmen the school admits, compensation for students who want to live on campus but can't because of the number of beds available and a decrease in the number of students admitted.

Part of this is in response to the university's plan to prioritize incoming freshmen for residence hall spots.

"Why we've made that choice is really about that acclimation to campus and that student experience," said Jack Miner, UC's Provost of Enrollment Management.

As current students start to figure out where they'll live next year, some who want to call a residence hall home are feeling nervous.

"Now it's the gamble of hopefully I get the housing I want, hopefully I just get housing in general," said student Grace Denlinger.

University administration says it empathizes with these students.

"We're committed to do as much as we can to find as many housing options and support the waitlist," said Carl Dieso, UC's Assistant Vice President of Housing.

In a Cincinnati City Council Budget and Finance Committee meeting Monday, council member Reggie Harris pointed out this issue is impacting community members who aren't UC students too.

"We must have a deeper partnership — and by deeper partnership, a deeper financial commitment — from the university in terms of helping us figure out housing," he said.