Forum: Lottery leaves out juniors

I was disheartened by what took place this weekend in J Street. Scores of rising juniors were left without housing for next year. By number 1,000, barely any options were open to students who wanted to live on campus.

The Community Living and Learning Center and Residence Hall Association were negligent. They overestimated how many students would live in Columbia Plaza and assumed that fewer sophomores would be pulled up. In this case, assumptions and miscalculations have left many juniors without housing.

The RHA has had two years to address issues regarding housing, and it has not. The University is trying to force all freshmen and sophomores to live on campus. But all students do not necessarily want to live on campus and many cannot afford it. This forces juniors and seniors off campus flooding Foggy Bottom.

The University is trying to house more sophomores by denying housing to many juniors, most of whom were on waiting lists last year. The University has forced hundreds of students to find housing on their own. Many of my classmates joke they are going to look into trailers and cardboard boxes for housing. Although these comments are in jest, they show the severity of the situation.

Officials suggest the Columbia Plaza option. I find it absurd for GW to tell students to pay $750 a month to live in a room with no internet access, no furniture and additional bills for local telephone service and cable television.

Due to increased enrollment, GW can no longer house the same percentage of students as in the past. Last year, juniors and seniors could choose Munson, Fulbright or FSK. But this year these options were given to freshmen and law students. The University took housing away from juniors and did not offer housing to compensate.

Perhaps the University should have addressed this issue sooner by building residence halls. Maybe the University should not accept so many freshmen. This argument has been repeated by faculty members and the Board of Zoning Adjustment in its recent decision on the campus plan.

As a student unable to find housing through the lottery, I was forced to move off campus. Apologies will not cut it when students are forced to take out even more loans to pay for the expensive housing market in D.C.

-The writer, a sophomore majoring in international affairs, is former president of the Class Council of 2003.

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