School Searches for Solution to Overcrowding

Autumn Evans, News Editor

SUNY Buffalo State is working on a master plan to prevent overcrowding in campus dorms, it announced during the 2014-15 school year’s first College Council meeting on Tuesday.

This fall saw a record of more than 1,800 admissions, which led to problems with fitting all of the residential students into dorms on campus. Freshman dorms were changed from doubles to triples and some transfer students were moved into dorms at Canisius College.

“That has been working out, but we know that’s a crunch,” said President Katherine Conway-Turner. “We know we need to work to make sure we have a plan in place moving forward.”

She estimated that at least 300 more resident spaces needed to be added to campus.

In order to prevent the issue from reoccurring, Buffalo State has announced it is creating both a short-term and long-term plan to increase resident dorms on campus.

Right now, the college is conducting a study to determine how to add those spaces. It is considering two plans: first, to convert one of the old buildings which was originally a dorm, such as Bishop Hall, back into resident housing; second, to build a new dorm somewhere around campus.

The Student Affairs Committee described a four-phase plan the college will use to decide how to proceed.

The first phase is strategic planning, which the committee said is mostly completed. It includes enrollment trends, growth projections and creating a resident life vision statement.

The second phase is a market study, where the committee will look at competition from off-campus housing. It involves a student survey, which is currently being conducted.

Phase three will examine facilities on campus to decide whether a new building is needed or an old one can be converted.

Phase four will be the final recommendations, which will summarize the first three phases and offer suggestions on how to proceed. The entire study is expected to be finished by May.

Conway-Turner said she would have more information at the next meeting.

In other College Council news:

•After 37 years working at Buffalo State, Provost Dennis Ponton will retire at the end of the year.

•Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced uniform sexual assault reporting guidelines for all state colleges last Thursday. The college has received the guidelines and is making adjustments, though some of the new guidelines were already in place.

“We at Buffalo State have already taken this issue very seriously,” Conway-Turner said. “There were a variety of things that were already in place here on campus. This is not new for Buffalo State, this is something that we’ve already had our arms around and already put together some very important policies and procedures to deal with this issue before.”

•Two graduate students gave presentations to the council. Nicole Kondziela, a history major with a concentration in museum studies, spoke about Buffalo political cartoonist Bruce Shanks. David Ashelman, an applied economics major, spoke about a monetary policy called quantitative easing.

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