Students back in permanent housing after living in temporary dorms

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UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS (WCIA) — One UI student says she had to sleep in a makeshift room for an entire semester, and she wasn’t the only one who had to do it.

University Housing says more than 100 students had to stay in temporary dorms for all or part of fall semester because Townsend Hall was shut down for construction.

These temporary dorms were made out of the common spaces in Weston Hall. They still have doors which lock, beds and closets, similar to quad rooms. However, one student we talked to described them as “makeshift” spaces.

Jessica Skocinski is a freshman and spent her first semester in one of those rooms. She got half off of her housing costs because of it. However, she says she never felt settled in.

“You know the feeling of when you step into a school after hours, and it feels weird? Or being in an airport for a long time? That’s kind of what it felt like. I didn’t put in any decorations because it didn’t feel like home. I would always go back home for the weekend. I didn’t really spend a lot of time in the dorm,” said Skocinski.

University Housing leaders say they tried to be open with students about this situation. They say they contacted students long before the semester started to let them know they’d be in temporary dorms. Students also had the option to live with the university’s private certifying housing partners instead of the temporary situation.

Skocinski is now in a permanent dorm. University Housing leaders say they don’t always have students in temporary housing, but things like construction or increasing attendance can force them to use that option. About 130 students were affected from the start of the fall semester until October; 25 of those remained in temporary spaces for the rest of the semester. They have now all been relocated to permanent rooms.

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