For the third consecutive year, Montclair State University has welcomed the largest freshman class, totaling 4,186 first year students in fall 2023, pushing the total university enrollment to 22,200. With more students equals a greater demand for on-campus housing, which is exactly what the university saw this semester.
Montclair State quickly reached its housing capacity of 5,069, leaving several students displaced or without housing. As a result, Montclair State offered nearly 200 students the opportunity to live at Schweitzer Hall at Bloomfield College, where rooms were still available. Currently, more than 50 Montclair State students live at Bloomfield College.
Tara Gabelmann, a junior public health major, thinks it’s a major inconvenience.
“I think it’s unfair for [the students living at Bloomfield] because they have to take that extra step to get here and it isn’t really their fault,”Gabelmann said.
This is the most noticeable change to Montclair State since its merger with Bloomfield College in July. Bloomfield, which is roughly five miles south from Montclair State, is also home to American Council on Education (ACE) fellow Mark Allman and inaugural dean of the new College for Community Health, Rashid Ahmed.
Some students like Mikayla Houston, a junior psychology major, credit the larger-than-normal housing waitlist to the influx of first year students.
“We keep accepting a bunch of freshmen, which I love but dislike because of this particular reason,” Houston said. “We just don’t have enough housing. I feel like we should scale back a bit on that.”
Other students like Nicky Fava, a freshman computer science major, weighed in on viable solutions for the so-called “housing crisis.”
“[The university] wouldn’t want to make it harder to get into the school, so the only real solution would be to add more areas for residence students to live in, but even then, that’s a long process. It’s tough, but it seems like the most optimal solution,” Fava said.
According to Residence Life, housing is only guaranteed to first year students and transfer students entering the fall semester.