Housing selection leaves sophomores stilted

Housing officials said creating new selection pools according to class led to a “successful” selection process this year, but many rising sophomores think they are getting the short end of the stick.

The Community Living and Learning Center decided to change housing selection so that each class had its own pool of dorms to choose from due to complaints the office received from juniors last year when they shared a pool of dorms with seniors. The new class-specific pools rearranged which dorms from which each class picked and were meant to give each grade fairer options for housing.

Rising second-year students, who selected over three days last week – Feb. 27, March 1 and March 2 – chose from rooms in The West End, Mitchell Hall, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis Hall, Munson Hall, Guthridge Hall, JJ Building, 2109 F Street, Strong Hall, Madison Hall, Crawford Hall, The Schenley, Pelham Hall and Cole Hall. The typically popular sophomore dorm The Dakota, which has apartment-style rooms, was filled by rising juniors for next year.

After the first day of housing selection for rising sophomores was completed, the only dorms left on the Foggy Bottom campus were seven doubles in Crawford, 32 doubles in the all-female dorm Strong Hall and 237 singles in Mitchell. There were also about 100 rooms left on the Mount Vernon Campus, according to CLLC’s online inventory Tuesday.

University Campus Housing Director Seth Weinshel said that for each day of rising sophomore selection, 1,000 intent-to-return numbers were slated to select and that after the first day 1,200 rising sophomores had beds because of students pulling in others. He said that the first day was just the busiest selection day this year, and he was not surprised how quickly quads, triples and doubles were filled in the sophomore dorm pool. Weinshel said that by the end of rising sophomore housing selection about 1,900 sophomores had beds.

Rising sophomores characterized their housing selection as “chaotic” and said that they could hear students yelling on their dorm floors in as they watched housing options slip away quickly online during the first selection day.

“I’m really pissed off that I’m actually downgrading my housing from freshman to sophomore year,” said freshman Daniel Chun, who currently lives in the Hall on Virginia Avenue and is registered for a single in Mitchell Hall next year.

Weinshel said that the new housing pools were meant to create a type of hierarchy in campus housing so students are able to choose from a better selection of dorms each year they live on campus.

Weinshel said that after sophomore housing selection closed Thursday about 30 beds were left unassigned on the Mount Vernon Campus. Many sophomores said they would rather not have housing then live on “the Vern.”

Weinshel said that as of Friday afternoon CLLC had received and processed about 100 applications from rising sophomores for the guaranteed waitlist. Last year CLLC had about 150 rising sophomores on the guaranteed waitlist and 225 upperclassmen on the non-guaranteed.

The waitlist will be filled in order of a student’s ITR number instead of on a first-come, first-serve basis as in the past in order to discourage students from rushing to the CLLC offices to be the first on the list, Weinshel said.

Weinshel said that while some freshmen have said there is housing “shortage” for rising sophomores, he said that’s not a correct characterization. He said that students who were doing the math during selection using the online numbers were getting inaccurate counts of the amount of beds available because when students decline housing offers on GWeb, which many did, their spaces are not added back to the online inventory.

Weinshel emphasized that housing does not end with the last day of online selection – which is meant to accommodate 80 to 85 percent of students looking for campus housing. He said that the waitlist and room change options are meant to accommodate the other 10 to 15 percent.

Weinshel said that the non-guaranteed waitlist was at about 140 upperclassmen by Friday afternoon, which is similar to other years. He said that CLLC began assigning upperclassmen, who registered on Feb. 25 and Feb. 26, on the non-guaranteed waitlist to rooms starting Friday and hopes that the guaranteed waitlist assignments will be able to move as quickly.

-Nathan Grossman contributed to this report.

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