Housing priority may be random, but it’s definitely not fair


Jack Muscatello

Receiving a poor priority number could make popular dorms virtually unattainable.

Jason Bupp, Contributing Writer

Every year after spring break, undergraduate students at Quinnipiac University wait eagerly for their housing priority numbers, knowing that a randomly-generated numerical value will single-handedly determine their happiness and comfort for the coming year.

For those unaware, a priority number for Quinnipiac housing is given to each student in each year. A student can be given a number from one to over 1,000, determining their place in line to pick their dorm room for next year.

This year, Quinnipiac’s Office of Housing and Residential Life decided to make changes to room selection when it comes to roommates and suitemates. One of those changes is the inability for individuals to purchase the entirety of a double room, which can allow for a “deluxe single.”

So, for students who are “going random,” or entering the selection pool without a previously determined direct roommate, they cannot pick their room unless there is a single available.

If there isn’t one, then good luck. This rule also applies to people with an odd number of suitemates. If a group cannot fill a double room with a pair, then they cannot stay with their suite and one student will be forced to randomly enter the selection pool, without knowing who their direct roommate will be.

These changes affect more people than one may think.

Quinnipiac requires undergraduate students to live on campus for three years, a directive that began with the graduating class of 2025. More often than not, Quinnipiac shows that it cares more about the money than the students that provide it. This three- year requirement is just another example.

The housing selection process affects most of Quinnipiac’s student body. It surprises me that the problems with the system have not been addressed sooner, as it affects so many students. The issues start with the priority numbers when it comes to housing and the blatant unfairness there is in a system that should be fair.

To the new rule’s credit, in previous years, students who had no roommates and low selection numbers could book rooms in large suites like Hill, Village, Crescent, Townhouse and other desirable residence halls. However, this was unfair to those that have enough roommates to fill the suite.

It was unjust that an entire suite, meant for five or six students, can be reserved by one singular student and left virtually inaccessible to full groups. This put groups in the less desirable dorms, or in some cases, forced them to split up. It seemed more reasonable if students with predetermined roommates that can fill a suite get priority over the individual.

These new rules attempted to fix the aforementioned problem. However, this created a new problem for groups of three or five students since their odd numbers will not allow them to be able to live together.

This poses the question; then what? Will the third or fifth person have to go random and live in another dorm? These new “solutions” create more issues than they solve.

The housing selection process is meant to be somewhat fair through the random assignment of selection numbers. The reality is that the system has flaws.

However, I feel like there is a way for the housing system to be fair for all the students. One thing Residential Life could change is give more priority groups of students that can fill entire suites. Filling a room is top priority and doesn’t leave anyone in the dust when picking. Having two people prevent a group of six people from getting the suite they want is ridiculous. Allowing a full suite more priority than a half-full group or single person makes more sense.

Removing the rule from this year, would make housing selection more fair for the single room individuals. It is not fair to the students to disallow them to pick a room because they cannot fill it with one person.

The structure of the housing system is unfair for both students with a lot of roommates and students with no roommates, so why not change it again?

Maybe it is because no one complained, or because people only complained during the week of room selection. If both ends of the living spectrum are at a disadvantage, what is the purpose behind the sudden change of rules?

Since Quinnipiac is so adamant about requiring students to live on campus for a minimum of three years, they should make the process more fair for all students. By recognizing the mistakes and flaws in the system and changing them in the future, the administration will show that it truly cares about its student body, a principle that was not evident during this year’s housing selection.