Housing wait list nears 400

The number of students without housing nearly doubled compared to last year, with 375 students awaiting room assignments after selection ended Thursday night.

About 150 rising sophomores and 225 upperclassmen did not receive housing assignments, Director of University Campus Housing Seth Weinshel said. Rising sophomores who did not receive rooms are on a guaranteed housing waitlist. The University guarantees housing to all rising sophomores, who selected housing Feb. 28, March 2 and March 3. Upperclassmen, who selected housing Feb. 27, are not guaranteed housing on campus, but Weinshel said he expects all students who want a room to receive one.

Residence Hall Association President Daniel Miller attributed the longer waiting list to fewer students choosing to live off-campus this year.

“There are more students realizing it makes sense to stay on campus,” Miller said.

The University may consider taking measures to allow rising juniors more housing options next year, such as reserving rooms in popular apartment-style residence halls.

This year, only City Hall and residence halls on the Mount Vernon Campus were available by the time rising juniors began selection. Students select housing based on randomly assigned lottery numbers within their class.

“Based on this year’s selection, it’s something we’ll consider in the future,” Weinshel said. “We learn things each year.”

Miller said rising juniors typically have fewer options since rising sophomores are guaranteed housing on campus and rising seniors select housing earlier from the same options.

“I think there is always a sort of crunch for rising juniors,” Miller said. “Since they’re grouped with seniors, they have less options. I think in general I can understand why juniors have concerns.”

Miller said he thinks the University would receive positive student feedback if the Community Living and Learning Center reserved rooms to allow rising juniors more options.

“I think it’s definitely something worth exploring,” Miller said. “Every year we want to make housing selection better. I’d love to have that conversation with CLLC.”

The University, however, wants to reward rising seniors and “maximize their amenities” to encourage them to live on campus, Miller said. He added that he reminds concerned students that they will have those options their senior year.

“Sometimes you have to have a poor living situation in order to have something significantly better the next year,” Miller said.

Many rising juniors are not at a disadvantage because they choose to live with rising seniors, Weinshel said. There were about as many rising juniors as rising seniors who chose to participate in housing selection, Weinshel said.

CLLC plans to offer rooms to most students on the waiting lists “throughout the weeks ahead,” Weinshel said. He said CLLC made 165 offers to students on waitlists by the end of Friday.

“We’re going to try to move as fast as we can,” Weinshel said. “We anticipate that we’ll be able to get through most of the list in the next couple of weeks.”

Weinshel said CLLC received as many as 700 phone calls from students with concerns about selection Feb. 27, when upperclassmen selected housing. He said CLLC probably received more phone calls on each of the days when rising sophomores selected housing.

The most popular residence hall for rising sophomores this year was The Dakota, which filled after the first 100 rising sophomore lottery numbers, Weinshel said.

“Online housing selection is only the beginning of the University’s housing process,” Weinshel said. “Every year there are waitlists and every year we exhaust the waitlists. Everyone typically gets assignments.”

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