Cougar Village is the newest housing development on the University of Houston campus and there are students, volunteers and parents buzzing around.
Huge roller carts filled with clothes and boxes rumble by as students line up for scoops of free ice cream in the steamy August heat.
Taylor Fayne is a freshman studying for pre-pharmacy. She just moved into her dorm and says she didn’t have to think twice about living on campus.
“I think on campus is the thing now, because on the website you can go and it says there’s a hold, people are getting wait-listed to live on campus. So I think it’s the big thing now instead of commuting. A lot of people I know from here are coming.”
In fact, more than 100 students are on a waiting list for on-campus housing at UH.
Kenny Mauk is the associate director for housing and outreach. He says it’s the first time in recent history that more students have requested housing than the university can accomodate.
“I just checked and currently we’ve moved in already about 2,100 students over the last two days. And we’re expecting about another 2,000 for our on-campus housing over the next two days and then in another 2,000 in our privately managed properties adjacent to campus.”
Mauk says UH will open another freshmen housing building for Fall of 2013.
He says the university’s Tier One status and national recognition are drawing more students to the dorms.
“I think by sheer numbers, the University of Houston will always be a commuter campus. With over 40,000 students coming in this fall and we’re housing just over 6,000. Certainly most of the students that come here are commuter, but those that live on campus are really excited to be here.”
The students who are moving in agree that they want to be here.
Moira Garcia is from Cypress, so her family isn’t too far away.
But she wanted to have the full college experience of living on campus, although it was still hard moving out of her home.
“It’s nerve-wracking, but it’s definitely exciting getting to meet new people, being on my own, learning how to be more independent. That’s definitely an exciting part that I’m looking forward to.”
Another freshman, Dylan Castagno moved here from California to study at UH’s Conrad Hilton Hotel and Hospitality Program.
He hasn’t met his suitemates yet, they move in tomorrow. But he says his experience of Houston and moving into college has been exciting.
“I love it, everybody’s so nice, everybody’s been such a big help. The staff and everything seem so nice, so yeah.”
UH ranks third in the state, behind UT and A&M, for the number of students living on campus.