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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published August 29 2010

Higher Education Notebook: Valley City State University, Mayville State University have fall housing shortages

North Dakota’s two smallest universities have unique housing shortages this fall.

Valley City State and Mayville State both are reporting enrollment increases at the same time that residence halls are under construction.

At Valley City State, seven male students are temporarily living in hotels because the halls are full.

The university has its largest freshman class since 1988. The number of students living on campus is up 10 percent since last year.

Meanwhile, Snoeyenbos Hall is closed for renovations.

President Steve Shirley said there could have been even more students living in hotels, but officials anticipated the congestion and encouraged upperclassmen to find other housing.

This is a temporary challenge for the university. The campus will gain 130 beds next fall after renovations are complete.

Mayville State is assigning as many as four students to a room. Enrollment is close to an all-time record for the campus while half of Agassiz Hall is under construction.

Darcie Ellertson, assistant director of housing, said the campus is able to accommodate everyone, but it’s tight.

“We are definitely utilizing every space that we possibly can,” Ellertson said. “Our students have been wonderful in terms of being wiling to put up with the crunch.”

Agassiz Hall is expected to be complete for the spring semester, opening up 84 more beds.

NDSU, UND collaborate

While North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota announced plans last week to renew a basketball rivalry, the two campuses are collaborating more off the field.

For the first time this week, NDSU and UND released enrollment figures at the same time through a joint press release.

The research universities intend to work together on enrollment planning, said NDSU President Dean Bresciani.

“People can expect to see a collaboration and cooperation on all sorts of different fronts,” Bresciani said.

In addition, NDSU and UND student governments are working together more closely than ever, said NDSU Student Body President Kevin Black.

The two student groups plan to collaborate this semester preparing for the legislative session, Black said.

Friendship families

Minnesota State University Moorhead is again recruiting community members to be paired with international students as “friendship families.”

The program aims to give international students an opportunity to experience American life.

The students do not live with the community members. The friendship families spend time with international students, such as attending

sporting events.

Ludmi Herath, international student programs coordinator, said the program was popular last year and many families are returning.

But there are new students who wish to participate. MSUM has about 350 international students this fall.

A picnic is planned for Sept. 12 in Dilworth, where the families will meet their students.

To participate or for more information, contact Herath at (218) 477-2956 or ludmi.herath@mnstate.edu.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590 or adalrymple@forumcomm.com