GW Housing Programs scrapped its squatting program for next year, citing low participation numbers as the reason to end the program that allowed juniors and seniors to remain in the same residence hall for more than 1 year.
Director of Housing Programs Seth Weinshel said the decision to end the program was made in tandem with the Residence Hall Association – a student group that deals with housing issues. RHA members felt the program was not fair to students, as it hindered the housing assignment process from being completely open and equal for everyone.
“With [the Residence Hall Association], we decided to eliminate the option to squat rooms completely,” Weinshel said. “It wasn’t fair to the entire student population, and we decided we should give everyone an equal opportunity to get these rooms since they are so limited.”
When South Hall opened as a seniors-only residence hall in fall 2009, only 80 seniors had applied to squat their rooms for the 2009-2010 year, down from 350 in the previous year. The number rebounded slightly for this academic year, with 180 students opting to squat.
Housing and RHA made the decision last year to only allow students to squat their room types, but not their exact room.
RHA President David Glidden said Housing Programs approached him in November about changing the process.
“We felt that it was an unfair policy to begin with and, in addition, the option was not being widely used by residents,” Glidden said.
Glidden added that he does not think eliminating the policy will have a significant effect on the iHousing process.
“Because few students have taken advantage of this policy in the past, we don’t believe that it will affect housing availability or assignments. The primary effect of the removal of the squatting policy is that it makes the housing selection process fairer for all students to be assigned their top housing choice,” Glidden said.