Lottery reminds students of lingering housing hassles

Bethany Dionne

In addition to the excitement of summer and anticipation of May Weekend, April brings the dreaded housing lottery as students hope to obtain adequate housing for the following term. The current lottery brought nothing that was unexpected: angry freshmen who did not get the rooms they wanted, and many students without a room for the fall.

“My group did not get a lottery number,” said Mallory Grimste, a freshman sociology major. “I was kind of expecting this from the beginning just because of horror stories I have heard. I knew from other people that the second lottery is almost completely hopeless, so I began looking for off-campus housing.”

Although the school does not have an exact number of incoming freshmen at this time, the department of admissions has accepted 5,700 students from 11,365 applications. Joan Isaac Mohr, vice president and dean of admissions, said the goal is to enroll 1,300 new freshmen and 150 transfer students. “We normally get a ‘yield’ of about 23-25% of those we admit,” she said.

Some students wonder why the system does not seem to work properly.

“I entered a group of six and they messed up and put us in a lottery for a group of nine,” said Alex Rom, a freshman journalism major. “We didn’t get housing a second time and since they accepted too many students, my group is probably going to get split into singles and shipped all over campus.”

Although students may get placed into rooms with open spots, the Residential Life department is trying to place students with people they know. “We do ask students to let us know if there is a group that they would like to live with,” said Jodi Bailey, assistant director of Residential Life. “This is so that we can place them in the best living area possible for the next semester.”

While various rumors are circulating about Dana Hall becoming a sophomore dorm and numbers increasing in Mountainview and Commons, Bailey says that will not happen. She said that unless they are put under “an extreme situation,” Residential Life would never put five people in a room in Commons.

“Housing sets aside spaces for new students before they begin the lottery process,” Mohr said. “We set aside that same number of beds each year. Residential Life then looks to accommodate those who are planning to return to housing in the rest of the campus accommodations. This year, they have seen an increased percentage of returning students wanting university housing for next year.”

Residential Life will not start assigning rooms until mid-July and Bailey said they will not start making housing assignments until after orientation weekends are over.

Housing may be one of the most frustrating things students have to deal with every year, but they must simply wait until it is worked out before they jump to conclusions.