Much to the relief of Southern Utah State College officials, fall quarter enrollment is up.
But there is still uncertainty as to how many students have found housing and how many have left or are leaving because of the housing shortage. And there is growing alarm over the plight of married students.According to SUSC registrar D. Mark Barton, the headcount for midday on Thursday was running about 300 ahead of the same time last year, with 3,224 enrollments, 3,034 of them full-time equivalent (FTE) students, which are vital for the college's state funding. In the third week of October 1989, the headcount was 3,629 with 2,912 FTE.
Barton noted that there are still three weeks to go before fall quarter registration is over, and enrollment figures from the Division of Continuing Education haven't arrived yet. A number of students will likely be added to the list in the next two weeks, and the continuing education numbers alone boost the total headcount by as much as 15 percent.
But the FTE figures are what have college officials jubilant. With the FTE figure already higher than last year, Provost Terry Alger said the total could be 200-300 above fall quarter 1989. Because of the housing crunch in Cedar City, Alger said college officials had been extremely worried about a net loss of FTE with students unable to find a place to live. Alger said he "breathed a sigh of relief" when the figures came in Thursday, although there are still serious problems.
"We know we have lost some students because of the housing problem, but as of now we don't know how many," Alger said. "Also, we don't know how many of the students who have enrolled have found beds to sleep in."
In a survey of student housing conducted last week, 70-80 beds were available for single students, apartment manager John Dalton still had occupancy for about 30 single students and another property owner, Forrest Hunter, had 10 beds available, again for single students. One two-bedroom apartment was also still unoccupied at the American Siesta Motel.
At the campus, Director of Resident Living Chuck Mollenkopf said both Manzanita Court and Oak Hall, the latter for married students, are full. Juniper hall, a dorm with double-occupancy rooms, still has 70-75 beds open.
With some 170-200 beds still available, the college might barely be able to squeeze in its single students this quarter, Mollenkopf said. But the situation for married students is far worse - there simply is no housing.