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USU Eastern closes residence hall as enrollment woes continue

January 18th, 2013 Posted in Opinion

By Seth Richards
USU Eastern Eagle News Editor

PRICE—Because of a nearly 6 percent drop in enrollment at USU Eastern between fall and spring semesters, there are no longer enough students at the Price campus to justify use of four residence halls.

Burtenshaw Hall

Because of declining enrollment, USU Eastern is closing Burtenshaw Hall, one of its four residence halls.

Burtenshaw Hall, deemed the most expensive to keep open, has been closed for spring semester.

Alex Herzog, associate vice chancellor for student services, says Eastern’s residence hall population dropped when classes started this term, from about 53 percent to 47 percent occupancy. While this is about average between fall and spring semesters, he said, the college was already hurting for students in the residence halls, and the further population decline made it economically unsound to keep all four halls open.

Burtenshaw, which can house up to 108 students, had only 20 students who returned for the spring. These students have been moved to Aaron Jones Hall, and the RAs have been reassigned.

The greatest expense in operating the dorms is heating and air conditioning, and Herzog estimates that shutting down Burtenshaw will save between $5,000 and $8,000.

If the number of residential students doesn’t increase by next fall, it is possible that Sessions Residential Hall will be the next to close, Herzog said.

Herzog promotes on-campus housing because it saves students time and money to commute to school, it allows easier access to classes, and because residential students can focus more on their academics.


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