OPINION: WSU needs to build another housing unit for returning students on campus


Wren Johnson

Housing illustration depicting Jacinda Hall’s column on Wichita State’s housing.

It’s that time of year again: We come back from spring break and we get to figure out housing options for school and decide whether we should live on campus again — or not.

Students that live on-campus are eager to choose their rooms for the next academic year, I know I am. Currently, students have one housing choice on campus if they’re returning, The Flats.

The Flats have three bedroom types and four different floor plans that residents can choose from. You can choose a floor plan with one, two, three or four bedrooms and you can choose to live in a single bedroom, an expandable single bedroom, or a double.

With the single bedroom, you have your own room completely. With the double, you share a room with someone else. With the expandable single, you have your own room unless housing decides to expand the room at any point during the school year and make it a double.

These rooms are usually pre-planned before the next academic year starts.

This year so many students plan to live on campus for the 2023-2024 academic year to the point that WSU’s Housing and Residence Life department had to expand all of the pre-planned expandable singles and make them doubles.

This comes at a time when the university constantly talks about raised enrollment as a good thing.

This is extremely frustrating because The Flats is the only returning student housing on campus. The Suites used to be open to both first year students and returning students, but it was changed to first year students only after the pandemic.

It isn’t fair to returning students, especially those that are out-of-state or international students, because if The Flats run out of room, students are forced to find inconvenient or expensive options off campus.

If WSU has room in their budget to build and renovate buildings on campus, then they should consider making room in their budget to build another housing unit on campus for returning students only.