By: BENJAMIN MILLER
Enrollment is down but housing is full.
In 2008 IU South Bend opened River Crossing Student Housing. Since then the university has continued to improve the site.
There have been trees removed and a sidewalk paved along the river, among other ongoing beautification efforts.
Providing room for about 400 student residents, River Crossing immediately satisfied a need that every growing university has at some point. Until recently, there have always been units available.
Ricky Ganaishlal is the head of student housing at River Crossing. He and the rest of the River Crossing staff have brought the tenancy levels to their highest point yet.
When asked what helped facilitate this success, Ganaishlal explained it was a team effort.
“Our student staff members, the resident assistants and desk clerks in addition to my residence coordinator and assistant director of housing have made tremendous efforts to continue to ensure that the overall experiences of our residents in housing are the very best possible,” he said.
In addition to the increased housing occupancy, from a business standpoint, there are other noteworthy effects this could have. Ganaishlal believes this could mean good things for the campus atmosphere.
“We hope an increased number of residents means an increased number of students who want to be involved in student life and campus activities,” he said.
Filled housing doesn’t mean success for everyone though. Remaining applicants have been forced to go on a waitlist or to find housing elsewhere.
With the university’s recent acquisition of nearby properties like Club Landing and empty lots like the space previously occupied by Greenlawn Hall, there are options to continue building places for students to live.
“I would certainly like to see IUSB begin the conversation of building additional housing as we have seen a particular interest for student’s desire to live on campus,” Ganaishlal said.
With the complex now at capacity, established residents and staff are feeling the effects as well. Where there was little noise and ample space, now there is the hustle and bustle of busy students and social events.
According to Ganaishlal, existing residents and staff are feeling the positive effects of reaching capacity. More students means more social interaction as well as development in other areas of student life.
Ganaishlal points to the fact that, “the increase in housing allows for our RAs, RHA and professional staff members to offer more programs and events to meet the holistic developmental needs of our residential community.”
Even with the recent surge in tenancy, applications are still being accepted for River Crossing. The complex has much to offer students. Ganaishlal notes.
“Some additional benefits of living on campus include the university itself, proximity to faculty, staff, administrators, student staff living in housing and the surrounding community,” he said.