Ariana Rodriguez | Staff Writer
The university dorms cannot accommodate the growing student population.
With the shifting of housing, such as reserving University Towers for second-years only and expanding Everglades Hall to house first-years, FIU is dealing with an overflow of students wanting to dorm. This problem causes overcrowding, higher demand for limited spaces, and no available rooms for incoming students. It can cause students to seek off-campus housing, which can be more expensive and less convenient.
Dorming isn’t just for fun. It’s a necessity.
With record-breaking admissions, it’s common sense that housing would see massive inflation of students. However, nobody expected this to turn into a crisis. Students on campus have been waitlisted for the next semester, forced to live off campus and sign an expensive lease.
As a junior who dormed from Summer 2021 until Summer 2023, it’s heartbreaking seeing so many of the people I met through housing pushed out to accommodate the massive freshman class. Many people I know were forced to sign an off-campus lease – Including myself.
I come from Orlando, so a four-hour commute is out of the question. I was waitlisted and was #300. With no dorm in sight, I signed a lease with an off-campus building that cost significantly more than what I would pay for a semester.
Off-campus housing is typically more expensive than on-campus options. Students and their families may face financial strain when they have to pay higher rent, utilities, and transportation costs associated with living off-campus. This can also contribute to student loan debt.
To help accommodate students, FIU created a website for students to see off-campus housing options free of scams. Although this was instrumental for students to navigate which building they wanted to live in, it was still devastating to see an email telling me FIU housing is at maximum capacity and to refer to the website despite having lived here my entire university career. On-campus housing often provides easy access to university resources such as libraries, study spaces, and academic support services.
Students living off-campus may miss valuable resources that hinder their educational experience. Additionally, dorms are more than just places to sleep and do homework. They are often hubs of social interaction and student life. When there are not enough dorms, students miss out on the chance to live on campus, participate in dormitory activities, and build a community with their peers. This can lead to a less enriching college experience.
Despite opening a new dorm building that can house 600+ students, FIU can’t provide housing to every student. They could try renovating old dorms like Panther Hall to fit more students. Explore shared housing options where students can live with multiple roommates in larger units, potentially reducing costs and increasing the number of available beds.
The highest priority in this dilemma is to house students who cannot commute (international or otherwise) or cannot afford Miami. Although building Tamiami has helped, more work still needs to be done.
The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.