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Housing Woes: Southern Utah University Asks Students to Live With Relatives

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Southern Utah University (SUU) is asking its students to live with relatives as the school copes with an on-campus housing crunch for the fall semester.

SUU Vice President for Student Affairs Jared Tippets recently sent an email to students, informing them that the four on-campus residence halls have already been booked to capacity.

He also advised those on waiting lists to keep looking for room vacancies near the school since they cannot count on beds freeing up before the fall semester begins.

“We are working hard to open up new apartments and beds in collaboration with local hotels and landlords,” Tippets said, adding that SUU is seeking available units in or near Cedar City that can be considered for off-campus housing.

The surge in demand for housing at SUU has been attributed to a surge in enrollment at the institution. Tippets also said more people have moved to Cedar City seeking a “more rural, slower pace of life.”

‘Several Hundreds of Beds Short’

For several years, the school has left the number of beds available for on-campus housing unchanged as it relies on community housing for students.

However, the availability of off-campus housing is “several hundreds of beds short due to changes in the local housing market.”

“We’ve also spoken to many landlords who transitioned their housing options from shared rooms to private rooms in response to the demand from students in recent years to have their own room,” Tippets said. This has resulted in fewer beds being available for students.

Student Airs Frustration

SUU student Skyler Jones, who is heading into his final semester, said that it is a “nightmare” finding a place to live where he can avoid traffic and conveniently get to school.

He expressed how the recent notification from the school about on-campus housing woes is “frustrating,” as he only wants to think about finishing his education.

“I’m a little frustrated with SUU right now,” Jones told The Salt Lake Tribune. “I don’t know what happened. We’re kind of left in the dark with why this is an issue now. I’d just like a place to live when it comes down to it.”

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