Upperclassman View: Hustling the great housing hassle

Chaos, confusion and crowds of clueless people aren’t typically descriptors indicative of housing selection, yet these were all characteristics of this year’s process. The posted schedules were barely a guideline, numbers didn’t actually start getting called until long after the posted time and anarchy reigned supreme for a stretch of hours in the Student Recreation Center (SRC). But the problems didn’t start at selection; rather they began at the onset of the stressful and ultimately disorganized process.
At the risk of sounding entitled, as a senior with a high number who paid my deposit on time and submitted a request for a small single room before the deadline, I wasn’t particularly worried about getting satisfactory housing. Especially since I know people who had been approved for a single over the years in similar circumstances. After submitting my request, I received the usual flurry of redundant emails warning me and everyone else on the mailing list to keep an eye out for a communication on Thursday, March 29, indicating whether or not I had been approved.
March 29 came and went with no such email. I figured it was just me, but when I asked others in a similar predicament, I found that none of them had been notified either. But sometimes these things happen, so I sent an email to the Office of Residence Life asking for clarification, which was never answered. A few days later, I sent another email to the same effect. Finally on April 4, I got an email indicating that those who were approved for small singles needed to go to the SRC at 10:30 p.m. I was frustrated and sent yet another email, starting to feel like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, but instead fed up with being ignored. When I checked my email a few hours before room selection was scheduled to commence I got a nasty surprise in the form of a short, unceremonious reply simply reading, “You have not been approved for a small single.”
I asked why, given that I’m an upperclassman in the Baccalaureate Honors Program (BHP) with a high lottery number. My reply went unanswered, and I had to improvise at housing selection, which in and of itself was a greasy horror show. I called the next day and left a message during office hours, and my phone call was never returned.
The worst thing about all of this nonsense is that my story isn’t unusual or even that surprising. I’m just one of many students who have been shafted by the system with little or no explanation.
I won’t pretend to have any bright ideas about how to make housing less of a disaster for everyone involved, but a lot of it is just common sense. Send out notifications when you say you will, try to actually stick to the timelines because no one wants to be picking their rooms at 1 a.m. when they have an 8 a.m. and those in charge should be available to students and willing to communicate. None of this is rocket science.
Seriously, all I’m asking for is a single. I’d even take Poyda, or a janitor’s closet if it could be spared.
-Megan Pendagast
Junior English major

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