Daily Egyptian

SIU dorms down 600 residents, 3 Schneider Hall floors to close

Daily Egyptian file photo

Daily Egyptian file photo

By Anna Spoerre

This fall, 600 fewer students will be moving into SIU’s residence halls, officials said. 

The top-three floors in Schneider Hall will be empty as a result of decreased enrollment, particularly in the incoming freshman class, said Jim Hunsaker, senior associate director of housing operations. 

Vacancies will primarily be in the towers, as well as University Hall on east campus and Thompson Point on west campus, Hunsaker said. However, Wall and Grand Apartments — traditionally designated for upperclassmen — are at capacity this semester, he said.

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Jeanne Lady, senior director of residence lifesaid there were originally six residential assistants assigned to cover the three floors when hiring decisions were made in the spring, prior to the closure. But not everyone hired to be an RA this fall filled the positions for various reasons, she said, so no one was laid off.

Lady also said some floors will have fewer residents.

A number of floors traditionally set up with two RAs will be reduced to one because the floor will only have 20 or 30 residents instead of 50 or 60, Lady said. 

No new RAs are being hired this semester — as would typically happen to fill vacancies — because some RAs were moved into openings on other floors, she said.

Hunsaker said the reduction saves the university in cleaning costs for the vacant floors and hired RAs.

As of noon Tuesday, Lady said, an exact number of the reduction in RAs was not immediately available. 

“It’s just something the whole university is feeling right now,” Hunsaker said of the tightened budget and the decrease in university housing residents. “We’re doing more with less.”

The reduction in residence comes during a time when public universities are feeling the effects of an ongoing state budget crisis.

At the end of June, Illinois politicians passed a stopgap budget to provide some funding to state-funded institutions. However, this is only a temporary fix.

University enrollment fell below 16,000 students in the spring, which was down 878 students from spring 2015.

Official enrollment totals for this upcoming semester will not be released until 10 days after the first day of the semester, which is common, SIU spokeswoman Rae Goldsmith said. 

“Enrollment will be down for a host of reasons, including the lack of public confidence in the state budget,” Goldsmith said.  

Features editor Anna Spoerre can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @annaspoerre

To stay up to date with all your SIU news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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13 Comments

13 Responses to “SIU dorms down 600 residents, 3 Schneider Hall floors to close”

  1. gary breeze on August 16th, 2016 4:20 pm

    Build for the future.

  2. paij on August 16th, 2016 8:03 pm

    when you take away all of the fun activities (i.e halloween, parties on campus, players ball, polar bear, etc etc) the school becomes drab and boring when compared to other state schools that still allow those kinds of events. so the word of mouth becomes “its boring at siu” and thats been the general consensus with the younger generation entering college that I have come across. its no longer appealing

  3. Nan smith on August 16th, 2016 10:42 pm

    Declining enrollment at SIU should be no surprise to anyone.
    1) people do not feel safe in Carbondale
    Random shootings, kids let to die in fields, gang shootings. Not somewhere where I feel comfortable sending my child
    2) the Illinois budget
    So I can send my child to school in Carbondale but their program may get cut because lack of resources
    3) the current freshman class is smaller
    Some one please look at the data.

  4. Alski on September 28th, 2016 4:09 pm

    Enrollment is down. However look at the payroll numbers. No decline there.

  5. Rahimah on August 16th, 2016 10:51 pm

    I believe the state budget place a partial roll in the decrease of enrollment at SIU. Last semester a lot of students were face with racism and I think those students and their families had to consider what was best for their students if I saw you was the best Institution for them to attend. I agree we all have to prepare for the future but we also have to think of safety.

  6. Danielle McKinnis on August 17th, 2016 7:04 am

    This is terrible news. One of the comments was that there was increased crime and discrimination is partly the reason for the decrease in enrollment. I attended 20 Years ago.Sad to hear that the students still face racism with the staff on campus.

  7. Alski on September 28th, 2016 4:07 pm

    Yes it does exist. My daughter was a victim. Nobody seems to care. KARMA. The university is feeling the results of treating people poorly. Word is getting around.

  8. J. Johnson on August 17th, 2016 7:52 am

    It’s very sad to hear that SIU is facing so many challenges, I graduated from SIU school of Engineering and Technology in 1984 and all I have are very fond memories from my time in Carbondale. Enrollment was over 20,000 students, the football team won a national title, Halloween was a big deal, the beer trucks on campus gave away free beer, the great smoke out, and a wonderful education. I met some wonderful people from across the global and the university was a very safe place for students. Students need to realize that this is the only time in life that you get to dream your dream and make it your reality before the pressure of the real world start to put the squeeze on life. I sincerely hope the university can change the perception and increase the enrollment and maintain its high standard of learning.

  9. Mike Belchak on August 17th, 2016 4:04 pm

    The results of a failed, liberal social experiment.

  10. Tom Kelleher on August 17th, 2016 5:18 pm

    Attended and graduated in the early 70’s. What a great school and time to experience Southern. A large student population comprised of Chicago area kids were the norm. Halloween, Bonaparte’s, Merlins, Peppermint Lounge, Das Fas, and the list goes on and on. I remember going to Bonaparte’s and watching this band for free called REO Speedwagon! I believe one of the members actually attended SIU. The school was hip, in, and THE place to be during those years. Above all, it was SAFE. We would walk through the woods at night without fear. Somewhere along the way, the university lost its direction. Things were allowed to change for the worse. Opening the doors to “students” who had no business being here, yet alone in high school, became the norm. Crime, unruly classes, fear of walking around campus after dark was prevelant. My daughter lasted one year before transferring because of what I just described. The “rumors” were not rumors anymore. Word got out. People talked. It’s taken its toll. The university chose to close its eyes and blame anything and everything on anything but the truth.. The administration knew exactly the root cause. They created it but refused to own it. While other state universities experience student growth in numbers, old SIU is still shrinking. From nearly 24,000 to 16,000 is devastating. Sorry, but SIU does not have much of a positive reputation to draw upon. I’ve heard some pretty awful descriptions (which I can’t describe here) of Southern. However, I must say they are quite true. This did not happen by accident. It was planned. I would never recommend Southern to anyone.

  11. Alski on September 28th, 2016 4:15 pm

    Amen to that! They do have a bad reputation. Trust me. Our family knows all too well. Unfortunately this lesson came at a high price. Then they’ll stand there and deny, deny, deny. They’ll suck the money out of you like a leech.

  12. Bob on August 18th, 2016 3:54 pm

    I think that it is asinine to think that the reason enrollment is down is the fact that there is a cut back on “fun things”…especially since Halloween, Polar Bear, etc still happen each year… Also, the “Gun Violence” is not a hot button issue as they have been isolated incidents and the stories themselves haven’t made it up to big news sources since no one cares. The budget and uncertainty of the future state of education in Illinois is the ONLY factor, hands down. If you think otherwise, you are a moron.

  13. Bryon Kluesner on August 20th, 2016 12:52 pm

    I was born and raised in southern Illinois. Graduated from SIU-C with a Bachelor, Master & Doctoral degree. The current Governor and his state budget for higher education saddens me. No wonder there is a decline in enrollment.

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