Senior housing off to rocky start

Nicole Celli

Juniors at York Hill waiting to choose their senior housing on Thursday night were not impressed with the first-come first-serve system that Residential Life put in place.

Students were asked to leave the Rocky Top Student Center when it closed at midnight, and many remained outside its doors, prepared to camp out all night to ensure they receive the best choices when the doors were reopened at 7 a.m. Friday morning.

Junior Danielle Cascerceri saw some students camping outside the student center as early as 8:30 p.m., and was unhappy to see that there was no set process to deal with students arriving so early to claim a spot.

“If there was more organization, the process would have been more enjoyable and less stressful,” Cascerceri said. “A lot of people throughout the night were saying just send us home and give us lottery numbers, which seemed kind of funny considering everyone dreads the lottery.”

Residential Life did not tell the students to camp outside to ensure the best choices, and discouraged students from doing so because there is enough housing for every junior who wanted housing as a senior, according to Director of Residential Life Cindy Long Porter.

“This year there were certainly more students this year who were interested in housing for their senior year, and some students who wanted a particular place to live felt that they needed to be first,” Porter said.

Prior to last year, the order for groups to choose housing was determined via a lottery process.

“Two years ago, the feedback was ‘we hate the lottery…get rid of the lottery…we don’t want to do the lottery process,’” Porter said. “I think we have to look each year and evaluate and see what could work better. At the end of the day we want a process that works well for all students.”

Photo credit: Zach Abrams