Housing puts 700 students on wait list

More than 700 students have been waitlisted for 2010-2011 University housing, a University official said Tuesday, with 150 rising sophomores who are guaranteed housing by D.C. law left unsure where they will live next year.

Seth Weinshel, director of GW Housing Programs, said the number of students on the wait list for campus housing is longer this year than it was last year, increasing from 600 to 700 students. The increase in deferred students was caused by an additional 300 applicants for fall housing, Weinshel said.

Freshman Cheney Lonberg, one of many on the wait list, joked about getting an apartment in Southeast D.C. instead of living on campus.

“It’d be cheaper and definitely an experience,” she said. Despite her humor, though, Lonberg said she is frustrated.

“Even though I am guaranteed housing, I still feel like I’m a high schooler who has been put on the waiting list of every college I applied to. It’s frustrating – especially when everyone else knows and you don’t,” Lonberg said.

Despite the wait list, Weinshel said the department expects to be able to offer all students an assignment.

“We anticipate offering every student a housing assignment by the end of the semester,” Weinshel said.

Eighty-five percent of students were assigned their first choice for housing for the fall semester, Weinshel said. Last year, 80 percent of students received their top choice.

Some freshmen, like Elyse Gainor, based their room preferences on price tiers. Gainor spoke to a housing representative about her situation but still feels like she has limited options.

“I’m optimistic and disappointed at the same time because there is a chance that I could be placed in a nicer dorm like Ivory [Tower] or City [Hall], but that also means that I may not end up with the roommates I requested and I may have to pay more money for a dorm I never requested in the first place,” Gainor said. “I think the University should compensate us somehow for having to live in a third or fourth-year dorm that we did not request.”

Some students interviewed were happy with their assignments.

Michael Schumpp, also a freshman, said he was lucky and received his first choice for next year, but only after getting his sixth choice this year.

Weinshel said the University has assigned all of the available rooms, and students on the wait list will be given spots after juniors and seniors opt out of campus housing.

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