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Daily Barometer: Residents displaced, cramped  October 15th, 2013

[September 25, 2013 — The Daily Barometer] — Converted lounges housed some students in residence halls first 2 weeks of fall term

Roughly 65 students spent their first days at Oregon State University living and sleeping in converted student lounges within the residence halls.

All 65 students were transferred to permanent housing by the end of week two. Additionally, students were charged a discounted rate for their time in the temporary housing. The rate was equivalent to housing costs during breaks, at about $18 per day.

“This is more art than science,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “It’s like the airlines: You accept more people than you can actually accommodate because you don’t know who’s going to come.”

Fall 2013 is the second consecutive year that University Housing and Dining Services placed students in temporary housing.

Last year, the capacity for university housing was for 4,200 students. After converting double rooms to triple rooms found in Poling, Cauthorn, McNary and Wilson halls, this year’s capacity for university housing increased by 450 people. Even so, the university had a surplus of students.

This instance of temporary housing reflects the noticeably growing population at Oregon State. For fall 2013, housing services faced both the newly required on-campus housing for first-year students, as well as an unprecedented number of returning students who opted to live in residence halls.

To convert the lounges into functional living spaces, UHDS replaced all lounge furniture with the standard bunk bed, wardrobe and desk found in the usual dormitories.

Read the full article by Sean Bassinger and Kaitlyn Kohlenberg.

ROTC residential community returns to Finley Hall for 2013-14  April 25th, 2013

Effective Fall 2013, Reserve Officer Training Corps will once again encourage its cadets and midshipmen to live in Finley Hall on the south side of OSU’s campus. The change, announced by University Housing & Dining Services this week, is an update to previous plans that had indicated part of Sackett Hall would be used for a second year for ROTC.

This community is designed for students who would like to live with other ROTC students who maintain the same rigorous ROTC schedule. Finley Hall is also conveniently located near several ROTC campus facilities.

For new students that requested Sackett with the ROTC building option on their Fall 2013 housing application, UHDS automatically updated the selection to Finley ROTC.

New students are welcome to revisit and update building preferences in the online housing application at any time. UHDS also encourages new students to communicate with potential roommates about the change before new student room selection begins May 20. Students can check the important application dates or their MyUHDS to determine their exact day for room selection.

Any returning residents (upperclassmen) who plan to live in the ROTC community are encouraged to make a room selection change, if necessary, by April 30.


For questions, please contact the UHDS housing office at 541-737-4771 or

KLCC Radio: OSU looks to build new dorm [residence hall]  March 18th, 2013

[KLCC, March 18, 2013] — Oregon State University plans to build a new residence hall on what’s now a parking lot. The $30 million building would provide housing for 300 students.

Oregon State is looking at a long term need for more on-campus housing. It’s recently adopted a policy requiring traditional first year students– aged 18 and 19– to live on campus, with some exceptions. Tom Scheuermann is Director of University Housing and Dining Services.  He says enrollment is increasing.

Link to full article.

Link to full audio.

— By Rachael McDonald

Returning students: Time to think about room selection for 2013-14  February 5th, 2013

Returning UHDS residents can select their room, building (and if they choose, roommate) from April 1 to April 30. Returning Oregon State University students, who are new to on-campus housing, can pick their room starting April 3.

The housing application (how you will select your room) will go live by April 1. Returning students can expect a great selection of rooms, because they have priority selection before it opens to new students. You can find the application at

Not sure where you want to live next year? Consider attending our upcoming open house! It’s a chance to tour buildings that you are interested in, and win great door prizes.

Open House, 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18.

Featured residences:

More information to be posted soon. For questions, call 541-737-4771 or email


Photo contest: Show us your room  October 29th, 2012


This fall, University Housing & Dining Services brings you the chance to win plasma TV for your room and to be featured in photos for upcoming UHDS publications.

How to enter: Submit a photo of your room, your name, and short description of what makes your room unique via Photo submissions will also be added to Facebook album on the UHDS Facebook page.

Prizes: Grand prize winners will receive a new 32” plasma television sponsored by the Residence Hall Association. Second and third place winners will receive a gift certificate to the OSU Beaver Store. Top six finalists agree to have their rooms featured in photo shoots for UHDS.
 Each room is limited to one photo; photos submitted must be your own room; photos may include you or your roommates in them; photos that show anything that breaks UHDS rules will automatically be disqualified.

All contest entries are due by FRIDAY, NOV. 9.


OSU seeks to boost retention through first year experience program  August 16th, 2012

OSU News and Communications (Aug. 16, 2012).

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will revise its First Year Experience program for new students over the next several years in an effort to help students succeed academically and improve retention.

A task force of OSU faculty, staff and students has been working on ways to help students thrive academically and personally during the first year. It concurs with what many national studies have found: The best way to ensure that students return for their sophomore year is to help them “connect” to campus in a meaningful way, said Susie Brubaker-Cole, associate provost for academic success at OSU and co-chair of the task force.

“What we’re seeking is a ‘high-touch’ experience for students during that first year when it becomes critical for them to interact in meaningful ways with other students, with faculty and with campus programs,” Brubaker-Cole said. “A lot of this happens in the classroom, but much of it is an extension of classroom learning that reaches into life on campus and the experiences you have as a member of campus communities.”

As an integral part of OSU’s initiative, first-year students will be required to live on campus for their first academic year beginning fall term of 2013.

“If you look at top universities in the country in terms of academic success and student retention, almost all of them require students to live on campus their first year,” Brubaker-Cole said. “The learning and community-building that occur in campus residences are focal points of the first-year experience.”

Tom Scheuermann, director of University Housing and Dining Services at OSU, says his office has assessed its overall on-campus housing capacity and will have adequate space for the live-on-campus requirement. In addition to the International Living-Learning Center that opened last year and houses 320 students, OSU’s on-campus capacity will get a boost from a new residence hall that is in design with a planned opening of fall 2014.

Scheuermann said on-campus capacity this fall (2012) should be about 4,300 spaces, which will grow by another 300 in 2014 with the new hall. And some floors in Finley Hall that will be off-line in the coming academic year, or used for office space, will reopen in fall of 2013.

In recent years, about 80 percent of the new-to-OSU freshmen have lived on campus.

There will be some exceptions granted to the new requirement, OSU officials say, though specifics have yet to be determined.

Brubaker-Cole and her colleagues are focused on the importance of boosting OSU’s First Year Experience efforts to broaden student success and deepen student learning. OSU’s retention rate for freshman-to-sophomore year is 81.4 percent, which “is actually good when compared overall nationally,” she said, “but it hasn’t improved over the past few years in ways that fulfill our aspirations.”

“We want more of our students to flourish here, earn their degrees, and benefit from the career paths that a college education brings,” Brubaker-Cole said.

OSU’s retention rate is comparable to its institutional peers, according to Brubaker-Cole, but not as good as some of its aspirational peers.

“It is important to actively build programs and support services that foster broad student success, and we know that the stakes are high for our students, their families and Oregon communities,” she said. “An Oregon state employment projection showed that by 2016, nearly 74 percent of high-wage job openings in Oregon will require a bachelor’s degree. We also know that college degree-holders are more active in civic life and are more likely to vote.”

Mark Hoffman, co-chair of the task force and associate dean of OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences, said the university is also working on ways to better connect students to campus resources, including the library, academic advisers, faculty mentors, Counseling and Psychological Services, and other resources.

“There are summer bridge programs to help students get their feet wet before they become full-time students,” Hoffman said, “and then we have U-Engage classes for first year students to help them learn how to navigate on campus and connect to all of the things it offers. Our next step is to evaluate all of the orientation programs and see what is working and how we can better coordinate the university’s efforts.”

Brubaker-Cole said students typically drop out for a variety of reasons, including homesickness, academic difficulties, finances, and psychological pressures. Friendships, mentoring relations with faculty members, connecting to programs that motivate and inspire, and campus support services can help offset the pressures that compel some students to not return after their first year.

“Retention is an issue that almost all universities around the country face,” Brubaker-Cole said, “and fostering a deep sense of belonging for all students in the university community is the critical foundation for college success.”

About Oregon State University: OSU is one of only two U.S. universities designated a land-, sea-, space- and sun-grant institution. OSU is also Oregon’s only university to hold both the Carnegie Foundation’s top designation for research institutions and its prestigious Community Engagement classification. Its nearly 24,000 students come from all 50 states and more than 90 nations. OSU programs touch every county within Oregon, and its faculty teach and conduct research on issues of national and global importance.

Pedal Power  July 16th, 2012

[Corvallis Gazette-Times, 07/16/2012] — They came, ready to ride.

Thousands of Cycle Oregon participants gathered on the Memorial Union quad at Oregon State University campus Friday to check in and prepare to ride the mid-valley this weekend.

Now in its 25th year, Cycle Oregon hosts both week-long and weekend rides, but this is the first weekend ride that will be based out of Corvallis.

All parties involved in setting up the three-day event and providing weekend accommodations for the estimated 2,000 participants mentioned that Corvallis — whose name is Latin for “heart of the valley” — is an ideal location for weekend bicycling.

“It’s going really well,” Snyder said. “People are really accommodating.”

Read the Full Article — Joce DeWitt


START: From all angles  July 11th, 2012

[Daily Barometer, July 11, 2012] — For all involved in a START orientation session at Oregon State University — from incoming freshmen, to parents, to the START leaders themselves — the process is tiring, anxious and exciting all in one.
For those who never participated in one themselves, or just forgot because it was so long ago, a START session  is a guide for first-time OSU students to get shown the ropes, and be comfortably acquainted to their new life in Corvallis.
A typical START orientation consists of “introductions, team-building stuff, going over information. They also have an academic presentation that they go to for their college,” according to ElyseLipke, a START leader.
On top of those things, there are also academic workshops, an information fair for clubs and groups on campus, tour of the residence halls, Dixon Recreation Night, and of course, registering for classes and picking up an ID card.

Cont. …

Read the full article by Warner Strausbaugh.


Lawmakers OK new OSU construction  March 8th, 2012

Approved building bonds put new student center, residence hall back on track

[Corvallis Gazette-Times, March 7, 2012] — Oregon State University will receive funds to build the Student Experience Center and a residence hall, after all.

Lawmakers passed a set of bills at the end of the Legislature’s short interim session, which adjourned Monday night. They approved millions of dollars in IX-F bonds for the new student center, a remodel of the Memorial Union’s east wing and a 270-bed residence hall.

Student fees will pay back the $47.2 million student center and $9.18 million renovation. Room and board fees will cover the $29 million residence hall.

Lawmakers put the projects on hold after the end of the last legislative session in June over concerns about the state’s ability to carry additional debt. OSU President Ed Ray, students and Oregon University System officials testified on behalf of the projects in front of the Legislature’s Joint Ways and Means Committee in November.

Another OSU construction project — a classroom building — was also put on hold at the end of the last session, but the university plans to pitch the project during next year’s legislative session.

The news of the projects’ approval was great news for the university, especially for student groups involved in the student center project.

“They saw the need early on and worked to make this project come to life,” said Tiffany Perkins, an OSU senior who co-chaired the student committee that helped the project pass an initial student vote.

Students voted in May 2010 to pay $48 a term beginning last fall to pay off the bond. With funding secured, students will be charged the fee beginning spring term, and construction will begin January 2013, said Michael Henthorne, the director of the MU.

The new building will replace Snell Hall, built in 1959 as housing to accommodate the enrollment booms of the post-World War II and Korean War era. It now houses various student organizations and offices but it has numerous major structural deficits.

See the original article by Gazette-Times reporter Gail Cole.


Winter break is coming, and so are room checks  November 8th, 2011

[Campus Living, Nov. 4, 2011] — All UHDS residence halls and cooperative houses remain open during the Thanksgiving break; however, during winter break and spring break only Bloss, Buxton, Cauthorn, Finley, Halsell, Hawley, International Living-Learning Center, Poling, Sackett, and West will be open.

Residents who are unable to leave campus during break periods are encouraged to live in one of these halls.

Residents assigned to open halls may remain in their rooms during break weeks, but will be assessed at a weekly rate of $124.25. If you are an INTO-OSU student, this charge is already included in your housing rate.

The deadline to sign up for winter break housing is at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7.

Residents of all other facilities, and those who do not sign up for break housing, should plan on departing for winter and spring breaks (Dec. 11-Jan 7) and (March 25-31).

The break rates start on the Saturday after classes end at 11:59 p.m. and continue until the Saturday before classes resume at 8 a.m. Students who do not want to pay for break housing must vacate before – and return after –  this time period to avoid fees. Residents that stay past 11:59 p.m. on the Saturday after finals end will be charged for one week of break housing.

Room checks coming soon: In addition, UHDS will be doing health and safety checks of every room at the end of Fall and Winter terms.  If you want to be present schedule some time with their Resident Director or Resident Advisor.

Otherwise, staff will briefly enter your room, over the break to make sure that there aren’t any safety issues – such as waste in the trash, windows left open, or appliances plugged in (curling irons, extension cords, etc).

Brian Stroup and Kathryn Magura, UHDS Operations and Facilities