By Heather Bower
KU is anticipating an additional 300 to 350 more students in the residence halls next year. This will be building on the current population of about 3,600 according to Kent Dahlquist, KU’s Director of Housing and Dining Services.
Starting in the Fall 2017 semester, the university implemented a two-year residency requirement for most students.
“Next year will be the first time second-year students are required to live on campus,” said Dahlquist, in an update on the estimated population increase presented to the Student Government Board on March 6.
With the increase in new students, Dahlquist is expecting an increase in the number of beds that will be utilized by students next year.
The university is currently renovating Rothermel, the sixth residence hall updated in seven years.
“We had 43 returning students selected into Rothermel for next year,” Dahlquist said. “The Honors freshmen are also going to be living there.”
Dahlquist explained Johnson and Bonner need to be renovated, but there is no timeline as to when that will happen.
Also during his update, Dahlquist said the university is up 300 meal plans since last fall.
“That was an increase in actual voluntary purchases,” Dahlquist said. “We’re up over a thousand voluntary purchases, separate from the required meal plans.”
According to Dahlquist, just over 3,200 students are currently utilizing meal plans.
Dahlquist also said the 24-hour dining service in South is not being utilized the way it was during the first semester the service was provided.
Student Government Board secretary, Kayla Hudak, said she likes the 24-hour dining service.
“I think we’re still in the early stages of seeing where it might head in the future because we are one of the first state system schools to have the plan,” Hudak said. “But, I think there’s still time to see kind of what long-term effects it might have on the students here because it’s still new.”
Junior Sarah Boccella had a different opinion.
“I am aware that South has a 24-hour dining service available,” Bocella said. “However, I don’t use it because I’m asleep in the middle of the night.”
Boccella also mentioned she uses the services at South during the day because she has a meal plan. She believes the earliest she’s utilized South’s services was around 7:30 a.m. and the latest was around 8 p.m.