For many, March 29 was a day of excitement. It was the day for students to finalize plans and figure out where they would be living for their next year of college. But it was also a day of confusion, anxiety and irritation, not just for us, but for other freshmen as well. As the day went on, we slowly realized that there were more disadvantages to being a first-year student than we previously thought.
Even for the luckiest freshman with the highest possible number of 999, the day was still hectic. It began with a delay in selection, which put everyone else behind in their time to choose. This, in turn, created a longer waiting time. There was a designated time for each class level, with selection scheduled to end at 4:15 in the afternoon. But the day did not go as planned. We arrived early, thinking that maybe our number would be called sooner than scheduled, but little did we know that an additional hour of waiting time lay ahead of us. Immediately, we were ushered into the Bart Luedeke Center (BLC) Theater, where other students were already waiting for their numbers to be called. When we arrived at 2:40 p.m., the numbers 1,500 and up were just being called into the Cavalla Room, when numbers 1,300 and above should have been finished by 2:30. We were surprised by the lack of organization when we walked through the door: Everyone was talking at once, and nobody knew where to go or what to do. Adding to the confusion were those who had already signed up for rooms but stuck around for various reasons.
When the moment to finally enter the Cavalla Room arrived, we hurried in only to find that we had another wait ahead of us. The students who were called in had to sit down and wait for their individual numbers to be called to finally pick a room. A large amount of frustration stemmed from the fact that our first choices filled up even before we entered the Cavalla Room. As we sat there and heard buildings close up one by one, we realized that we needed to reevaluate where we wanted to live. We adapted to the change and picked an available room so that we could put the day behind us.
Next year, it would be helpful if the selection day was altered to better suit the needs of the students. First, it would be more efficient if each group of individuals was allotted more time in selection because 30 minutes for 500 people to pick a room is unreasonable. Not everyone knows where he or she would like to live in the coming year, and people need time to think. Also, bringing in others with lower lottery numbers adds to the already hectic environment. Second, instead of one long day, groups of class levels could be organized into separate days. Those going into premium or Greek housing go on different dates, so why can’t the same process be done with the remaining students who are going into standard rooms?
The responsibility for room selection should not lie with the university alone. Students should take necessary steps to ease the process of selection. Each person should have a list of his or her housing choices, in order, with multiple options, especially if going for the more popular buildings. Also, anyone finished choosing should leave the BLC so as not to overwhelm the staff and crowd the area. Doing so will reduce the confusion of the day.
Housing Selection Day is a mandatory process, but the craziness of it all should not add to our already hectic schedules. A few minor changes can drastically alter the amount of stress that comes from trying to choose a room, especially for freshmen. Hopefully, any changes made to next year’s process will be beneficial to the incoming freshmen, as well as those currently attending Rider.
Angelique Lee is a freshman elementary education and journalism major and Brittany Phillips is a freshman accounting major.