On Feb. 4, California Polytechnic University, Humboldt announced that incoming first-year students would have priority for all on-campus housing. While the exact number of incoming students in the fall is still unknown, the university did receive 19,000 applications in January, almost doubling the amount of applications received for Fall 2022. This anticipated, unprecedented rise in first-years would force many returning students to be placed in off-campus housing options, as stated by Cal Poly Humboldt.
The school has already been preemptively fighting housing shortages by leasing rooms from nearby hotels. Last year, 100 beds were leased from a Comfort Inn. Now, 250 beds have been additionally leased from Super 8 and Motel 6 properties within three miles of the university’s campus in Arcata. Other housing options could include students peering into Arcata’s rental market, which is expensive and currently has limited options. According to campus spokesman Grant Scott-Goforth, “the university is continuing to look to lease additional housing for students amid an influx of enrollment.”
The university has seen more applications following its designation as California’s third polytechnic university in 2022. Being the only polytechnic university in Northern California, Cal Poly Humboldt attracts thousands of students seeking a specific kind of learning environment that may now be in jeopardy due to the housing crisis. The school has also been pressured to get enrollment numbers up over the years, recently being at risk of losing state funding over California State University (CSU) rules and guidelines for enrollment numbers.
The news of potentially being moved off campus to make room for more students has not sat well with current Cal Poly Humboldt students. Many are upset that they could be deprived of the full college experience by not living on campus. Protests have been staged and a petition has been started, demanding the school provide fair and equitable housing to its students.