Complex Problem- Phase I

Lauren Shinske

My Topic: Transitional Housing

Explanation of the Problem: How can we eliminate transitional housing for incoming freshman and create more space so that students who want to live on campus are guaranteed a permanent space immediately? One problem that I personally and many other MSU students experience as freshman is transitional housing. This is a problem that ensues when the university has too many students requesting or signing up for housing on campus. Therefore in order to fit all the students they are forced to squeeze three people into a room designed for two, or five people into a room designed for four.



  1. Transitional housing can last throughout the summer and throughout the first couple weeks of the school year. If all three students agree, they can also choose to live in transitional housing the entire year. Students mutually agree on who will move and who will stay, if they cant decide on their own LiveOn will look at who has the most recent housing application date and that person will be moved. (Transitional Housing Q&A)
  2. Students are moved when openings occur. This occurs when the housing office receives cancel reports, students choose not to return, or students decide to leave the university. They then decide where students are placed based on which neighborhood they currently reside in, if they requested a roommate, and if they are in a residential college. (Transitional Housing Q&A)
  3. Transitional housing occurs because MSU is currently remodeling dorms each year, residential colleges attract upperclassman to want to continue to live on campus, and students sign a housing contract but decide not to come to MSU. (Transitional Housing Q&A)
  4. Students who live in transitional housing receive a discount, which comes out to around $606.00 if they lived in a double with three people or $303.00 if they lived in a quad with five people for the entire semester. (Transitional Housing Q&A)
  5. Students are moved out of transitional housing first based on the factors of if they had a roommate request, if they are enrolled in a living learning program/residential college, if they are in need of winter break housing, and out of state students. (Transitional Housing Q&A)
  6. Michigan State continues to accept student when they are unable to immediately accommodate them because they know not all students who sign up for housing will show up and some students who move in will leave the university within the first few weeks. (Transitional Housing Q&A)
  7. Transitional housing is disruptive. Students have to move twice and have to get to know two sets of roommates. LiveOn offers their staff to help students move. (Transitional Housing Q&A)
  8. In 2013, 439 rooms were assigned as transitional rooms in the beginning of the summer, by the time school began that number had dropped to 181 rooms affecting a total of 545 students. (McGuire)
  9. Transitional Housing occurs in all five MSU neighborhoods. All rooms come equipped with additional furnishings in order to accommodate for the extra person. (Transitional Housing Assignments at Michigan State University)
  10. Michigan State University has transitional housing because MSU considers itself a residential campus and thinks it is important for all students to have the on-campus experience. Therefore they guarantee housing for new students and allow for upperclassman to continue living on throughout their education. (Transitional Housing Assignments at Michigan State University)


1. Transitional housing is stressful for students.
2. Michigan State University should only accept students who they have enough room for.
3. Michigan State University should evaluate the amount of students who pay their tuition bill and the number of students who signed up for housing to better identify students who will be living on campus for the year.
4. Students can feel like the third wheel when they know they will be the one moving out but are still waiting to find out where they will be moved.
5. Freshman students if put in transitional have no way out of this situation, they are forced to live in tight areas for an unknown period of time.


1. Michigan State University has continued to increase the number of students in transitional housing throughout the years.
2. Transitional housing is not a new thing at Michigan State University.
3. Michigan State University is working hard to find a solution or alternative to transitional housing.
4. Transitional housing occurs at all colleges across the United States.
5. Some students enjoy living in transitional housing and choose to continue to live in transitional throughout the year.
How can Michigan State University change or eliminate transitional housing so that all freshmen are placed in permanent housing by the time they arrive on campus?

Works Cited

McGuire, Justine. “Transitional Housing Down from Start of School Year.” The State News [East Lansing] 26 Sept. 2013: n. pag. Print.

“Transitional Housing Assignments at Michigan State University.” Live On. Michigan State University, n.d. Web. <;.

Transitional Housing Q&A. Perf. Ray Gasser. Michigan State University, 22 July 2014. Web. 25 July 2014. <;.