No room at the university, but plenty of room in the inn

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - There's no room in the dorms, so make room at the inn. That's what's happening at Southeast Missouri State University. The school is bursting at the seams with students, and the answer to some overcrowding now lies at a local hotel.

It's quiet now, but in three weeks the towers at Southeast will be packed with students.

"We had a record number of students last year," said Bruce Skinner-Director of Residential Life at Southeast Missouri State.

According to Skinner, Southeast is on track to once again possibly hit record numbers.

"There are more students that want to live on campus than we have beds", said Skinner.

"It's packed, but fun," said student Halie Dunn. It might be fun for students, but it's a logistical nightmare for the university.

All 550 rooms in the Towers Complex are spoken for. It's the same story with the other residential halls on campus.

"By June 20th the numbers for this coming fall exceed last fall which was beyond any of our expectations," said Skinner.

That's when Southeast started weighing other options. The solution: a hotel about four miles from campus. The Candlewood Suites will soon house 50 students in 24 rooms all on the hotel's fourth floor for this academic year.

"We asked for volunteers first, asked for students 20 and older who are juniors and seniors," said Skinner.

There was apparently no trouble getting them to sign up. Skinner says it won't cost more than an on-campus residential hall room, plus it has a kitchen and other hotel perks.

"It's a great opportunity for upperclassmen to have," said Halie Dunn. Dunn says if she wasn't an RA this year, she would have considered it.

It's also something new at Southeast. "That's a change for the University, something we haven't had to do since I've been here," said Skinner.

The problem with housing now appears to be solved on the crammed campus.

"It's a good problem to have," said Skinner.

Allison Evans with Candlewood Suites tells Heartland News the hotel saw it as a great opportunity to work with the university and the community.

She says with the new students at the hotel, it will continue to be business as usual.

Evans says staff members are very excited about housing the students starting in the next few weeks.

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