University of Tennessee students pack up bags, officials release statement

UT students packed up their tents and sleeping bags after waiting in line, trying to secure an apartment at an off-campus student housing complex.
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 6:33 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - On Tuesday, University of Tennessee students packed up their tents and their sleeping bags after waiting in line since Sunday trying to secure an apartment at an off-campus student housing complex called The Standard at Knoxville.

The Standard allowed students to lock in on apartments on a first-come, first-served basis on Tuesday.

Prior to The Standard opening its doors to prospective tenants, WVLT News reached out to the University of Tennessee for a comment regarding the housing issues for students.

The University released this statement:

The university has tried multiple times to reach out to the Standard to communicate our concerns about the impact their leasing process is having on our students. They continue to be unresponsive. It is our understanding from reviewing their website that there is an online leasing option.

The university does have a record first-year class. We worked to accommodate students by contracting with the Holiday Inn to create another residence hall experience. We are looking at similar university-lease options for next academic year, as well as building additional residence halls for the future.

Additionally, the University shared they do not have a direct affiliation with most off-campus housing, but the university has an off-campus housing website to help students. On Oct. 27, the university will sponsor an off-campus housing fair to further help students.

Ella Gray was one of the students who waited in line for two nights outside of The Standard. She said it was well worth the wait.

“To have an apartment with my friends, and we’re not leaving. Like I will not be staying on the street again. Like this is it. I’m done,” she said.