The Office of Residential Life decided that this year’s freshmen in crowded housing would not be granted a half-point for their next housing lottery. This isn’t fair to the students who had to put up with undesirable living situations due to a mistake – given, an unforeseeable one – made by UR in admitting an unusually large class.
In the summer of 2006, the Office of Residential Life was faced with more incoming students than they could fit in the freshman dormitories. As a result, they placed about one-third of the incoming class in “crowded housing” – mostly triples and five quads. Although crowded housing is not unheard of, the sheer number of freshmen living in less than desirable conditions was seemingly unprecedented.
In past years, when students were placed in triples, they were given a 20 percent discount on their housing fee and an extra half-point to be applied to the next year’s housing lottery. This ensured that students put in crowded housing their freshman year would hopefully not be stuck in another undesirable location the following year.
However, this year, ResLife argues that because of the high number of freshmen in crowded housing, giving every single one a half-point would be retroactive in the scheme of how the housing lottery works. Rather than reward students who have been in triples and quads with better housing their sophomore year, it instead would punish those who didn’t have the poor luck of landing in crowded housing their freshman year.
Even if granting this half point does create a perverse effect in the housing lottery, it still isn’t fair for ResLife to take away this perk. The half-point works to guarantee a better situation for those who were put at a disadvantage. Instead of taking away the half-point from students who deserve it, ResLife should be working to make sure that those without a half-point do not suffer for lack of available housing.
It is not too late to give the deserving freshmen their half-point back. If they don’t get it, there will be a lot of unhappy students in the class of 2010 who first got put in triples and then got put in Southside even though they requested the Residential Quad.