Housing selection felt more like punishment

Jamie Hill

I woke up at 5:30 a.m. last Friday, bundled myself up in warm layers, and dragged myself to the Rocky Top Student Center to meet the QU Housing Gods–Residential Life.

You might ask why I was plopped outside in the cold at o-dark-thirty, along with about 80 other juniors, some of whom had been sleeping there overnight. The QU Housing Gods told us not to worry; they will be accepting deposits through Dec. 1. Yet if you want a decent house that doesn’t have mold in the basement or a room in Eastview that gets at least one bar of cell phone service, you were one of those juniors grouchily waiting in line in the wee hours of the morning last Friday.

The whole process is absurd. It was like a human lottery system–instead of using a randomly-generated lottery process, we used our bodies instead of our IP addresses to hold a place in line and secure a decent place to live next year.

Overall, more than 250 juniors trundled up on the less-than-spacious fourth floor of the student center to put in their $500 non-refundable deposit and secured a senior living space. I overheard people around me saying they were missing class or labs to do this, which is ridiculous. It’s like, lower your GPA or get a good place to live next year…pick one!

After five-and-a-half hours of waiting, and after my other two roommates had anxiously swiped their Q-cards and flown to class, my other roommate and I finally made it into what looked like a boardroom with a panel of judges. But instead of telling us we sounded a bit pitchy, they asked us “Okay, where are you looking at?” Luckily, my roommates had done some research and we had our Top 10 List handy. Our “interview” took less than a minute; others took up to 15 because of study abroad issues or a total ignorance of housing options – an inexcusable offense to the people waiting for hours in line behind them.

At one point, a girl from Residence Hall Council was handing out T-shirts that read “2010-2011 Best Year Ever!” This left those who read the T-shirts cheery tagline snorting and shaking their heads, saying “Yeah, after today is finally over.”