Augie Jimenez was not supposed to move into North Complex Aug. 23. He was supposed to be at basic training for the Iowa National Guard.
Instead, Jimenez moved into USD housing facilities with more than 1,000 other first-year students as part of the campus’ official move-in day. The total was similar to the number of first-year students who moved in last year, according to a previous Volante article.
Jimenez, of Ireton, Iowa, was set to depart in July for a five-month stint in National Guard basic training. After its duration, he planned to enroll at USD for second-semester classes. However, a car accident in June drastically changed his plans.
“I had a dislocated hip and a fractured jaw,” he said. “Since I couldn’t go to basic training (July 17) with injuries, that means I’m going to school for the first semester until January.”
Volunteers were on hand both days to help new and returning students carry their belongings to their assigned room for students like Jimenez, who arrived on campus by himself.
Jimenez said move-in was made easy by the dozens of volunteers available to help.
“It was great,” he said. “I didn’t even have to carry anything in. They took most of my stuff away, and then all I had to do was move my car after.”
While the move-in system received a range of student and parental feedback, parent Julia Comer expressed concern for her son Nathan in regard to the housing situation in North Complex. Nathan Comer, a first-year student, moved into one of the overflow lounges necessary to accommodate the overcapacity enrollment.
“I know this happened last year because I have another son who is a junior, and he stayed in Richardson,” Julia Comer said. “I guess I’m a little concerned if you get to know the roommates and all that, and then you’re all split up. I’m not sure if they leave you in the same room or on the same floor.”
Associate Dean of Students Phil Covington said overflow assignments is completely registration based. When regular spaces become available, the overflow students with the earliest registration will be given first priority.
“Students are assigned by the order in which they apply,” he said. “As we have openings, rather than have the next person on the list, we’re going to go to the people in the overflow who have the oldest contract and see if it fits their needs.”
As openings for traditional rooms become available, Covington said these students have the option to leave overflow housing or stay in the lounges until all other overflow spaces are emptied.
“If they want us to pass them by, we have done that in the past,” Covington said. “Some of them really like that space, especially those that live in the lounges, which come with a 42-inch television and couch.”
Nathan said he wasn’t concerned about the overflow situation and thought the living arrangement was suitable.
“I don’t care too much,” he said. “It might be kind of fun living with three other people.”
Covington said North Complex is the only housing unit at overcapacity. On Aug. 24, volunteers helped about 189 upperclassmen move into university facilities.