Forum: Housing still guarateed

When only a handful of rooms on the Foggy Bottom campus were available at the beginning of rising junior numbers, many students became flustered or confused. I would like to explain why and what is being done to accommodate students left without housing.

This year, a new approach to housing selection was taken to meet the requirements of the campus plan. Sophomores chose housing first. Halls that traditionally house seniors and juniors were closed off during sophomore room selection. As the second day of selection drew near, the number of beds available did not match the number of beds needed to accommodate all students who turned in intent to return forms. This shortage is not new. Each year a number of students are placed on the guaranteed wait list. Over time more beds are added through acquisition of property and all students on the list are offered housing.

This year students signed license agreements at housing selection to prevent students from selecting a room and then dropping out of the system. Traditionally, only 20 percent of seniors who intended to return choose rooms at housing selection. This year, more than 95 percent of seniors intending to return chose rooms and signed license agreements. The increase in senior participation contributed to the lack of beds available for rising juniors. Still, this should not lead students to believe only a handful of juniors have housing. Of the nearly 1,000 rising juniors intending to return, 600 have beds.

The remaining students have a number of options. There are still rooms available in Columbia Plaza, Strong Hall and Pelham Hall on the Mount Vernon Campus. Students who have not yet selected housing also can go on the guaranteed wait list and receive housing when more beds become available. Students on the list are assured room in Foggy Bottom. Finally, they have another option. Before the close of business on Friday, rising juniors may request to have their deposit refunded in full.

“Homeless” students who place themselves on the guaranteed wait list will be offered housing in Foggy Bottom next year. I would like to remind students of the following undisputed facts: 60 percent of the rising junior class has housing, beds remain on both campuses, apartments are available in Columbia Plaza and the University guarantee for housing stands firm.

-The writer, a junior majoring in electronic media, is president of the Residence Hall Association.

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