Largest freshman class in IU history deals with overcrowding problems

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A record number of freshman are headed to Indiana University this week.

IU is expecting about 8,200 students. With two residence halls under construction, the largest freshman class ever is going to have to deal with some overcrowding issues.

“Overcrowding happens, you just deal with it,” said freshman Grayson Drudge. He is going to be living with five other people in a temporary lounge.

“For many of those students, it’s something that makes them nervous,” explained Executive Director of Residential Programs and Services Lukas Leftwich.

IU is offering discounts to the 200 students living in the temporary spaces. They will only have to pay 80% of the normal rate.

Drudge said he was a little nervous about living with five people.

“My main concern with coming in was like how we will interact with each other” said Drudge.

If all goes well, Drudge said he’s looking forward to the opportunity to make more friends because of his living situation.

“You have more people in a close living space, so obviously you are going to get closer,” said Drudge.

Leftwich said most of these students will get permanent housing later in the semester depending on how quickly people drop out or transfer. Because of the dorm shortage, IU is leasing out off-campus apartments for about 1,100 upperclassmen.

“We are doing everything we can to make sure they are connected to the campus community. We are supplementing the bus schedule with our own shuttles,” said Leftwich.

IU encourages students to report any problems as soon as possible.

“This year, we’ve also instituted a centralized call center for our maintenance concerns,” said Sara Ivey Lucas, the Interim Director for Residential Life at IU.

So far, there have been two suspected mold reports.

Benjamin Hunter, the Associate Vice President for Public Safety at Indiana University, said mold is a naturally occurring thing in the environment.

“So, once we respond to that, we investigate and we make sure to do that within a 48 to 72 hour time frame,” said Hunter.

Students like Drudge said in the grand scheme of things, your living space isn’t the most important part of the college experience.

“This is just where you sleep basically,” said Drudge.

Students will continue moving in throughout the week, and classes will officially begin on Monday.

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