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Too Many College Students, Not Enough Dorms

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RALEIGH — Thousands of students are unpacking at local universities this weekend. They're moving into campus housing in record numbers, and the schools are feeling some growing pains.

New N.C. State Chancellor Marye Anne Fox made the rounds at campus dorms Saturday morning, meeting and greeting students and parents as they arrived.

It's an annual rite of passage, moms and dads dropping their kids off at college for the first time.

"I gotta get my keys from my T.A. and all that stuff," N.C. State student Chris Atkins said. "So I have a pretty full day."

Atkins is one of 6,500 students moving into N.C. State dorms this weekend.

"I've cried about all week, but I've decided I'm not going to cry today," Atkin's mother said. "At least until I get ready to go."

Some students are trading the crowded college dorm life for a more upscale experience. The university is putting them up at the Brownestone hotel, while they wait for more dorm space to open up.

"I'm not disappointed," N.C. State freshman Dana Williams said. "I like the hotel, the hotel is comfortable, the people are friendly, I love it. I have no complaints."

The accommodations are not quite so comfortable in Chapel Hill, where 150 people are temporarily living in student lounges.

"Give us a room of our own," UNC-Ch freshman Darrell Johnson said. "I mean, that's pretty much what we deserve, what we came here for. They can't expect us to excel in these kind of conditions."

Johnson and his roommates may have to get used to living in close quarters. Housing officials say it could be weeks - or longer - before they can move into a room of their own.

Some additional dorms at Carolina and State may open up in the next few days, when housing officials account for "no shows". But, dozens of students may have to wait for someone to drop out before they're assigned a room.

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Stephanie Hawco, Reporter
Robert Meikle, Photographer
Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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