Students who hoped to find on-campus housing for this year faced a number of stressors, ranging from being on an almost 600-person waitlist to being turned away completely.
Last November, 583 undergraduate students who applied for on-campus housing before the priority deadline were unable to choose a room during the initial selection process and were put on that waitlist.
Carolina Housing sent an email to these students promising them housing for the upcoming year and advising them to “rest assured.”
While all the students who were on that waitlist either received a room assignment or canceled their contracts, Carolina Housing turned away students who applied after the deadline and some transfer students due to high demand.
Karen Valdez, a sophomore transfer student, said she was unable to receive on-campus housing for the 2023-2024 academic year after she was told that Carolina Housing would not be able to accommodate her. She said she was unable to find any close off-campus housing options in her family's budget, which forced her to find a house 30 minutes away from campus.
As a commuter, on top of the normal stressors of school, Valdez said she has to worry about navigating traffic, balancing sleep with driving time and remembering bus schedules to and from her designated parking deck — a 20-minute walk from campus.
She also said she is struggling with finding her on-campus community, getting involved in clubs and engaging in school spirit. Valdez added that being housed on campus might have helped her connect with campus life.
“It's kind of shocking to me, and almost in a way debilitating, to see that they didn't really do anything to go out of their way to make sure that their students had somewhere to be,” Valdez said.
Samiira Hassan, another transfer student, said that because of issues with housing on top of other transfer obstacles, she questioned if UNC was the right university for her. She said she felt like she was making a “dumb decision.”