Southern Utah University is a small college that is expanding very quickly. A lot of incoming students and current students are struggling to find places to live in Cedar City because the town is so small. This is leaving a lot of students without a place to stay.
The problem is simply there just being not enough housing. You are continuing to search and apply everywhere as soon as possible and you still aren’t guaranteed a spot. There are also tons of students being added into the fix making this almost impossible to do at a reasonable price. I see that Southern Utah University has added the Gateway (as of last year) and they are adding another student housing unit right across from the P.E. Building which will be a tremendous help to students.
The problem is simply there just being not enough housing.
There are a few complications that come with this including students being at risk of homelessness and finding a place as an out-of-state student. This is a huge problem especially because well-paying jobs are already hard to find in Cedar, so we would also need affordable housing on top of the already slim selection. This is making the situations difficult, as the students are already struggling to keep up.
I think that if we start investing more money on buying and building more housing for students that would be very beneficial. We are adding these new building and taking away student parking to add more to the university that we already have places for, but I think we should be using these spots to build more houses and buy houses to give students a place to live.
Expanding our city is another idea I had. With SUU growing at the rate that it is, expanding would do us a great favor. This would be a huge project and would take a very long time but could also bring in a lot of business which would then allow it to pay itself off. This would be so beneficial in making enough places for all the students and could bring in some great publicity factors for SUU. As seen, we are not the only school struggling with this problem; many other schools around the United States have had this issue, including UC Berkeley.
Also, doing this will drop the costs for students due to other competitions with housing (Asset Management and SUU housing are our two main off-campus housing) because there will be more places to buy from. Competition makes things for affordable to the students which is great when trying to meet all their needs. Also, putting a freeze on our admissions wouldn’t hurt either to get us caught up and to have more space for the incoming freshman and transfers. Going forward with any of these options can give us the space we need for students and to make our growing community that much better.