Record number of students residing on campus this summer
By Cooper Nelson
GCU News Bureau
Grand Canyon University’s record ground-campus residency from the past academic year will continue into the summer as more than 250 students, nearly double that of last summer, will be living in the North Rim Apartments.
Students staying on campus must be enrolled in summer classes and/or employed in student worker positions. Most students are in the rooms they will occupy this fall when classes resume, although some, such as resident assistants and life leaders, may relocate to other residences in August. The official summer move-in date is today, and the mid-summer move-in is on June 27.
Senior nursing major Jamie Mones enrolled at GCU in 2010 when about 1,000 students lived on campus during the regular academic year compared to the nearly 4,000 just three years later. She is looking forward to a nostalgic summer.
“It will be kind of like when GCU first started — that small-school feel,” said Mones, 21, who was born in the Philippines and grew up in Saudi Arabia. She will take clinical classes over the summer.
“There will be 200 people I don’t know, so it will be nice to be able to make new friends.”
GCU plans to keep the focus on community this summer. The offices of Student Engagement, Spiritual Life and Residence Life will hold events such as barbeques, pool parties, Bible studies and movie screenings. The Rec Center, campus pools, Starbucks and other campus amenities will remain open with shortened summer hours.
This is Brume Pela’s first summer in the United States. The junior pre-med major from Nigeria plans to take summer classes to catch up from a spring-semester setback. He also wants to volunteer at local hospitals to gain more experience.
“The option of staying on campus or going home is really not a fair comparison because I want to go home. But in order to get into medical school, taking classes and volunteering this summer is something I have to do,” said Pela, 20.
“Even though I don’t get to go home, I’m thankful GCU gave us the option (to stay on campus).”
Janay Poole, housing operations manager, said almost one third of the students housed in campus residences moved to campus last summer before the official fall move-in event. She expects nearly the same number this year as many campus groups, including ROTC, athletes, resident assistants, life leaders, band members, student workers and Associated Students of GCU staffers, will move in early for practice, training and special events.
Poole said more students are choosing to remain on campus to accelerate their degrees by taking summer school classes.
“I think we will start to see (more students staying on campus for the summer) because many desire to graduate early and staying helps accelerate that process,” Poole said. She added that GCU is now nearly equal in the number of in-state and out-of-state residents, another reason for the larger number of summer residents on campus.
Housing fees are also significantly less during summer months. Students taking classes pay only $1,200 for the summer, while those working pay only $1,600. (The semester rate for the North Rim Apartments is $2,400.) For dining options, summer residents can purchase a Student Union meal plan or use the kitchens provided in the apartment buildings.
Reach Cooper Nelson at email@example.com or 602639.7511.