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Housing Debacle Continues

EC Residents Feel Brunt of Shortfall

By Jon Sheffi

Inadequate room allocation for East Campus and Random Hall residents extended the debate over the summer housing process.

According to Manager of Undergraduate Residential Services Phillip M. Bernard, over 1,000 students applied for the 800 summer housing spots, but enough cancelled by the May 15 deadline to reduce the number of applicants to 775.

Many students, however, received a low-preference dormitory or no housing at all. East Campus and Random residents, whose dormitories will be closed this summer for maintenance, were most affected.

One hundred spots within the housing system were allocated for residents of East Campus, but over 120 East Campus residents applied for those spaces. Karen A. Nilsson, associate director for operations, attributed the main problem to oversubscription for Senior House by East Campus and Random residents.

Bexley Hall, also a popular choice among East Campus and Random residents, allocated 39 spaces for its own residents, leaving only 40 spaces for other students, according to Derrick Barnes, house manager for Bexley and Random.

Baker House allocated spaces to its own residents first before handling outside applicants. Baker house manager Jonathan F. Nolan said, “I handle all Baker residents first. It’s easier.”

Only in-session Baker residents received summer housing at Baker. About 95 Baker residents will be crowded into Baker’s 80 summer housing spaces.

Student criticize allocation system

Many students were dissatisfied with the process.

“I was not particularly pleased,” said Brandy L. Evans ’01, president of East Campus. “It would have been better to have a centralized system instead of farming out the applications to housing managers.”

Evans said she knew many early applicants who did not get housing at all, while many who applied later did receive housing.

“The system needs to get looked at,” said Jennifer A. Frank ’00, former Dormitory Council president. “Not a lot has been done to examine the system and the way it works.”

Frank emphasized the late date at which students were notified of their decision which prevented many from finding alternate housing if they failed to receive on-campus summer housing.

Bernard shared the students’ concern and said that moving up the due date and notification date was under consideration. The major concern with moving to an earlier due date is that it would increase the number of applications, since many people would request summer housing without knowing whether or not they would actually need it.

House managers remained satisfied with the fairness and efficiency of the process, despite some of the logistical issues that accompanied the shutdown of East Campus and Random.

“It’s going as smoothly as possible, but of course it’s disruptive for students,” Barnes said.