Dorm Debacles

Matthew Fortin

[media-credit id=2143 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]When March rolls around, a few things are for certain on Quinnipiac’s campus; spring break, Sleeping Giant hikes and the first crop of spike ball players on the Quad.

But it’s not all fun and games this month.

March also happens to be the time of year for the infamous turmoil caused by housing selection.

The process itself may seem simple at first. Everyone receives a random lottery number, which is used to select their preferred dorm for themselves and their roommates.

Year after year, Quinnipiac students find themselves in situations that are anything but simple.

Such is the case for Olivia Bellefeuille, a sophomore advertising and integrated communications major, who was informed last week that her suitemates planned to not include her in their group for next year.

“I live with six others, and we all have really strong personalities,” Bellefeuille said. “But everything was totally fine until it came to the (housing) numbers coming out. That’s when everything took a turn.”

Bellefeuille says that the entire situation lends itself to lots of awkwardness and unpleasant conversation, which only exacerbates the issue.

“No one wanted to come out and say, ‘you’re not going to be able to live with us,’” Bellefeuille said. “It’s just a super uncomfortable talk that no one wants to have.”

That leaves the QU sophomore with only a few days to arrange something for next year. And with priority No. 678, Bellefeuille will not have the best of options.

Not only that, the stress of the situation has taken an emotional toll.

“I’m not mad or angry about the whole thing,” Bellefeuille said. “But I definitely feel let down. My trust has been broken.”

However, such has not been the case for everyone. Other Quinnipiac students are enjoying easier housing processes.

Olivia Schuellur, a freshman journalism major, is lucky enough to have a roommate with priority No. six, which will allow the group to have a top pick of all the sophomore dormitory options.

“We got really lucky, so we’re just trying to figure out which dorm to pick,” Schuellur said. “I was leaning towards Hill, because I have a food allergy, so I would love to have a kitchen because I know that I’d use it.”

Although Schuellur may have lucked out this time around, she thinks that there could be a more effective way of assigning priority numbers in the future.

“If housing were based off GPA, people would probably work harder,” Schuellur said. “People care a lot about housing. If you work hard all year, you should be rewarded for it.”

Schuellur wasn’t the only one who thought that the process could be improved upon.

Freshman marketing major Olivia Curtin suggests that Residential Life needs to make information about the different dorm options more accessible to students.

“They need to make it a little bit simpler to find your roommates and room options,” the freshman marketing major said. “At the beginning of the semester, they should send out what dorms you qualify for and how many people fit in each.”

While it may be challenging to find, Residential Life does offer extensive information about housing options on the MyHousing section of MyQ.

Additionally, Residential Life facilitates a series of “roommate socials” to provide an open space for students to meet potential roommates.

The roommate social on March 26, which took place in the lower cafeteira, proved quite popular among students.

“We didn’t think that many people were going to come out, but tonight we probably had around 100 people were here trying to find roommates,” sophomore political science major and vice president of organization development for Resident Hall Council Austin Calvo said. “It’s awesome that we’re able to help do that.”

Mark DeVilbiss, director of Residential Life, explained that the roommate socials are only a part of their continual effort to housing as pleasant as possible for students.

“Our goal is to run a housing process that is student friendly, student oriented, that creates a lot of satisfaction and is also fair,” DeVilbiss said. “We try to balance all those things at the same time.”

And while he is certainly open to new ideas from students, DeVilbiss does believe that the current system of lottery numbers is the ideal method.

“I’m always happy to hear proposals from students for any kind of system. We’ve heard it for GPA, student involvement, credits, athletic participation and scholarships,” DeVilbiss said.

As to why the system has not changed as a result of these suggestions, DeVilbiss explains that it’s simply a matter of fairness.

“Maybe if you have a 4.0 that works for you, but what if you have a 2.0 and are studying really hard,” DeVilbiss said. “I try to think of the student who may be struggling academically. Should we then add struggling in housing assignments and make it that much harder for the person?”

DeVilbiss was quick to emphasize that Residential Life is always willing to work with students, even after housing has been decided upon.