After a lack of on-campus housing left some underclassmen scrambling to find other options, Belmont has announced a new dorm will be coming to campus in the fall of 2025.
In an Instagram post that has since been deleted, Belmont announced the new dorm will be built next to Caldwell Hall and have both suite and apartment-style options housing more than 700 students.
Other amenities include a 3,100-square-foot esports suite, a grab-and-go food service outlet and an uninterrupted view of the Nashville skyline, according to the post.
Residence Life declined to comment about the dorm.
While some students are intrigued by the announcement of a brand-new dorm, others are left wondering if it is truly the answer to what some have called “the housing crisis.”
For incoming freshman Anna Blubaugh, it’s reassuring that Belmont is trying to address the issue.
“I think it’s exciting, especially since I’ve seen that the influx of new freshman is causing housing issues. It’s reassuring to see that Belmont is working to ensure that the needs of their students are met,” Blubaugh said.
But the fear of being without housing still lingers in the back of her mind.
“I am concerned about finding housing in the future. The new hall might help prevent another housing crisis in the future but won’t fix the current one. I’m very worried that the situation could happen again, especially considering that Nashville isn’t a cheap city to live in,” she said.
For those who are currently affected by the housing issue, they view the new dorm as a short-term fix to a growing issue.
Sophomore Ronin Kiekbusch already had his roommates picked out for the 2023-24 school year, but those plans were destroyed in a matter of moments when he was unable to pick the same apartment as them.
The new dorm is a step in the right direction, but Belmont needs to have other solutions as the student population and apartment prices in Nashville continue to soar, Kiekbusch said.
“It will help for a little while, but Belmont is just growing so fast that it’s going to be impossible to find housing for that many students in the near future. Belmont needs to start thinking of some more long-term solutions,” Kiekbusch said.
“I think what they’ve done in partnering with some of the neighboring apartment complexes is an idea that they should explore more to see how they could use that to their advantage to make sure that all students have access to safe, affordable and comfortable living situations in the future.”
Sophomore Amanda Cudia also had a frustrating experience with the selection process.
When the time came for her to select her housing, her portal showed no available options, leaving her refreshing the page for 30 minutes until something appeared.
The dorm is very much needed, but the decision seems too reactive instead of proactive, she said.
“I think it seems like a great idea because I feel like every year there are more freshmen. We really need the space, but it’s so odd. We do so much construction all the time for medical buildings, yet we don’t have enough places to fit everyone that all the new space is bringing in,” Cudia said.
“I felt like they could’ve planned much better for everything. They know how many students are applying to their school and how many students they have on campus.”
Although she has an on-campus apartment of her own, sophomore Kaylee Camarda said she believes that Belmont should be focusing on those without housing for the upcoming school year instead of building new dorms in 2025.
“I just think it’s very ambitious because it seems like a really big project to take on a little too late. We need to be focusing on what to do for students next year rather than plan for 2025,” Camarda said.
“I think giving students more clarity on what their plans are for housing for the 2023-2024 school year would be a good place to start. A lot of people still don’t know where they’re staying next year, and I feel like Belmont needs to focus on that.”
Whatever the situation may be, Camarda said that she hopes the dorm will be a step in the right direction for Belmont: “I just hope Belmont gets this figured out as soon as possible. Being a student and being uncertain about whether or not you’re going to have a place to live is exhausting.”
This article was written by Ty Wellemeyer