Housing offering lower room fees for commuters

Olivia Medovich
Staff writer

Due to the collapse of the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge, the Murray State Housing Department and Residence Life is offering an additional housing option for students with a longer commute.

Commuting students are now able to rent housing spaces for the remainder of the semester at a prorated cost.

Tracy Roberts, interim registrar, said there are 271 commuter students from Trigg and Christian counties who attend classes at the main campus. Out of those 271 students, 210 of them are full-time.

Don Robertson, vice president of Student Affairs, said commuting students’ ability to drive to campus every day has changed dramatically.

“There comes a point when commuting becomes much more difficult and inconvenient,” Robertson said.

He said the University is trying to be proactive with the situation and provide on-campus housing as an alternative option for comuters.

“We can now offer a prorated rate to make it more attractive for them to do that, which is only the fair thing to do,” Robertson said.

John D. Wilson, director of housing and residence life, said he made the suggestion to offer the opportunity to impacted students during his weekly meeting with Robertson.

He said a few students have inquired and shown interest.

The cut rate would depend upon which residential college the student was assigned to, Wilson said.

“An example of this is that a student who moved into Regents when we opened for the spring semester was charged $1,996,” he said. “A student who moves into Regents today would be charged $1,643.76 for the remainder of the spring semester.”

Chelsea Brown, senior from Hopkinsville, Ky., said she now has a 180-mile round trip from her home to campus each day.

“It’s a good extra 30 to 40 minute drive,” Brown said.

She said she has considered the housing option, but would only need it for 38 days this semester and cannot afford to pay the prorated cost.

“I have a house in Hopkinsville and I’m not going to pay the $1,500 prorated rate for the rest of the semester,” Brown said.

She said she is looking at other less expensive options to ease her commute.

Since the bridge collapse, Brown along with a fellow nursing student have been staying at Murray Plaza Lodge, a hotel in Murray, at a discount rate.

Ray Osher, owner of Murray Plaza Lodge, said he was happy to help the students and ease their commute by letting them stay for a less expensive rate.

“We are dedicated to education and to people bettering themselves,” Osher said. “They need all the aid and resources they can get.”