ST. PETERSBURG - Living in the dorms is sort of a college rite of passage. It's why Kyle Harrison signed up to live on campus when he starts fall class at USF St. Pete.
"He enrolled. He did a summer term and completed that, lived in the dorm rooms here and then came home when they dismissed all the summer term and was told last Thursday there was no housing," said Patti Harrison, Kyle’s mom.
Now Harrison and his mom are last-minute apartment hunting in downtown St. Pete with no guarantees.
"It was a little stressful the past couple of days," said Kyle Harrison who will be a sophomore.
USF St. Pete says both residence halls on campus are full. And overflow housing -- the downtown St. Pete Hilton -- is too, which means dozens of students will have nowhere to live their first week of school in part because the Republican National Convention is in town.
Not only is the North Carolina delegation staying here, so are many other RNC guests. In fact, the Hilton is booked convention week.
Forty-two students will have to wait until convention guests leave town to move in. Another 30 will move into the Hilton on time on September 25.
"As our demand increased, we knew that we were going to need more opportunity for more spaces so we went right back to the Hilton and we asked them if we could get more spaces from them,” said Kay-Lynne Taylor, Director of Student Services.
But the Hilton couldn’t accommodate them.
Taylor says an incoming 700 freshman is an enrollment record up roughly 20-percent from last year.
But it won't be in time for Harrison, who starts class in less than two weeks.
"We've gone all the way from 5th Avenue South. We've gone as far north as 5th Avenue North but that's a long walk to school. There are some units up there that are available. It's a 10-block walk, but he'll do it if he has to," said Patti Harrison.
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