In the midst of war, students have little time to grasp the complexities of this year’s housing selection. Since the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a city order to house all freshmen and sophomores and 70 percent of all students within campus boundaries or outside Foggy Bottom, uncertainty and confusion have prevailed among students and the administration alike. Warmer weather means the end of the year is approaching – it is time for the University to end the confusion and help students plan for next year.
The latest housing episode is a malfunction in the online assignment of housing selection numbers. All rising sophomores were accidentally assigned lottery numbers worse than they were supposed to because of an Information Systems and Services snafu – freshmen will have to redo their Intent to Return Forms next week. The ITR process, originally set for February, will now take place in early April for rising sophomores because of a mistake.
After fixing the ITR fiasco the University needs to seal the deal with the new apartment building planned for outside Foggy Bottom. Precious apartment shopping time is slipping away for upperclassmen that have to decide whether to stay on or move off campus.
The housing situation gets even more confusing when students try to figure out what the University means when they say “rising sophomore.” In an attempt to get around the BZA order to house all sophomores on campus, the University has strategically decreased the amount of sophomores without getting rid of a single student. GW officials added an extra 12 projected credits to each student’s tally for the upcoming semester, sending any freshman that came in with 18 or more credits straight to rising junior status. This makes those students exempt from the BZA requirement to live on campus and consequently easier for the administration to fulfill the requirement.
The administration is seemingly pulling desperate maneuvers to squeak pass the BZA restrictions. GW needs to fulfill the order to ensure BZA approves the final permits for the already postponed construction of the new School of Business and Public Management building adjacent to Funger Hall.
This maneuvering has created even more student complaints. Freshmen considered rising sophomores will not be able to live with freshman friends that are now “rising juniors” because of a new no pull-ins rule.
Director of Housing Services Andrew Sonn said the administration is considering changing the no pull-ins policy – and they should. Freshmen should not be forced to live with strangers or put and ad in The Hatchet for roommates because of University maneuvering. They should be able to live with their friends.
Housing selection always causes tension to run through campus, and all of this year’s uncertainty is only adding to the mess. Students need definitive information so they can rest easy going into finals knowing that they will have a place to stay next year.