Housing prepares for summer, fall 2018 semesters

GVL/Kevin Sielaff - Grand Valleys South Apartments as seen from above on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016.

GVL/Kevin Sielaff – Grand Valley’s South Apartments as seen from above on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016.

Drew Schertzer

Each year, students at Grand Valley State University have to make the choice of whether to live on campus or not. To accommodate a large number of fall and summer students living on campus, GVSU has allocated funds to apartments and more beds. 

Around 300 to 500 students will live on GVSU’s campus for the summer 2018 semester, and 6,100 students will live on campus for the fall 2018 semester, said Andy Beachnau, associate vice provost for student services and director of housing and health services. He said GVSU has added 1,000 more beds since 2016-17 to ensure that students’ options, prices and locations on campus are the most efficient. 

Beachnau said $2.5-3 million has been allocated to Grand Valley Apartments (GVA). The funds will help with construction and renovation of GVA, as well as other living spaces on campus. The idea is to make students feel that they are important and know that GVSU is a home for them, Beachnau said.

“I always encourage people to live on campus their first year at GVSU,” Beachnau said. “They can make lifelong friends and connections because of the environment.”

Beachnau said students on campus seem to do more since they have more access to campus. They have no commute, he said, and can choose to go to the campus Recreation Center, the library or other on-campus sites. 

Kristen Evans, assistant director of recruitment and training for GVSU’s housing office, echoed similar thoughts about on-campus living. 

“People send their children to live on GVSU’s campus, even when home is nearby,” Evans said. “Living on campus is a part of the college experience and helps students build a new sense of individual identity.”  

Evans described the three-part system for students to be assigned to on-campus housing. First, students who may know someone from their home area may request to live with that person. Next, if the students mutually agree to live together before Tuesday, May 1, they are good to go. 

The second option for students is for them to look on social media beforehand and agree to a similar process with someone they have just met, Evans said. Lastly, students can choose roommates by “going in blind.” These students fill out a questionnaire and are paired with another student they would “hopefully” get along with.

Though first-year roommate relationships often develop into friendships, roommate problems do occur. Students aren’t always going to get along. Some common issues include cleanliness and leaving doors unlocked. The goal is for students to coexist safely and respectfully, Evans said. 

Resident assistants (RAs) are trained in mediation for these situations and are often able to resolve conflicts peacefully through talking things out with the students, Evans said. 

Evans believes living on campus for college students is a must. She said for the summer semester, students should be aware that they don’t need to be enrolled in summer 2018 classes to be able to live on campus. They do, however, need to be enrolled in fall 2018 classes. 

To learn more about GVSU housing, visit www.gvsu.edu/housing/students/.