Number of students living on campus reaches record high

GVL / Emily Frye
The class of 2019 participating in Wednesday nights opening transition events. The students were able to become more comfortable with their fellow classmates and their new lives as college students.

GVL / Emily Frye The class of 2019 participating in Wednesday nights opening transition events. The students were able to become more comfortable with their fellow classmates and their new lives as college students.

Sanda Vazgec

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This year, Grand Valley State University will break records with not only the largest incoming freshman class to date, but also the highest number of students living on campus in history.

“This is a really exciting time to be a student attending Grand Valley,” said Dena Willis, occupancy manager at GVSU Housing and Residence Life. “In just this past year, the university has expanded so much and we as a department have really prepared for that.”

This fall the university will see around 6,300 students residing on campus, 62 percent of whom are members of the class of 2020.

Willis said with a record-breaking number of first-year students living on campus, the amount of returning students living on campus has stayed consistent despite competition with many newly built off-campus apartments.

“There are so many students living on campus because the demand is there,” Willis said. “Freshmen students want that first-year experience and to make those important connections. The returning students appreciate the convenience and the security along with the total Grand Valley experience.”

When students arrive to the university in late August, they will see a new living center, more parking and a larger mailroom. Construction of the new Holton-Hooker Living and Learning Center was completed over the summer. The building will house 497 freshmen students, including a floor dedicated to those enrolled in the Frederik Meijer Honors College.

“I’m nervous and excited to move in to my room,” said GVSU freshman Laini Ozark. “I think living on campus is going to be the best way for me to get involved during my first year because we’ll always know what’s going on around campus.”

The future of GVSU housing is looking to expand as long as the demand is present, which Willis said it most definitely will be. The department hopes to add more living centers for freshmen on the north side of campus and for returning students on the south end of campus.

Willis added the department will continue to care for its students on a personal level and stressed communication between the department and the residents is essential in making sure the students have what they need.

“We want to have that personal connection with our residents,” Willis said. “They need to know that we are here for them, to support them and make sure they can be as successful as possible.”