The housing lotteries are April 5 to 30. If you?re returning to UR and living on campus in the fall, it?s time to figure out where. There?s no better way to make that decision than to visit the dorms themselves. One living center is giving you that opportunity. Hopefully, the others will follow suit.

This Saturday afternoon, there?s an open house in the Graduate Living Center. If you?ve never been there before, check it out. It may turn out to be the place you want to live.

The apartments in GLC are very comfortable. Each resident has a bedroom the size of a double in Susan B. Anthony Residence Halls, and every pair of roommates shares a bathroom and full kitchen. Half the apartments even have a guest bedroom.

The buildings are, as you may have heard, a bit off campus. From Carlson Library, it?s about an eight-minute walk along scenic Park Lot, and it?s a 15-minute walk from Wilson Commons. For some, that?s a problem. For others, it?s worth it. The only way to find out for yourself is to visit. If you don?t have friends who live in GLC, the upcoming open house is a great opportunity.

The mystery is not unique to GLC. Most people don?t have friends in every building on campus. To learn about the buildings and the rooms inside, we rely on word of mouth and rumors. Word of mouth tends to be pretty accurate, but nothing can substitute for seeing a living arrangement for yourself.

You can?t decide you want a loft in Hill Court if you don?t know what a loft is. You can?t plan for a six-person cluster in SBA if none is available.

When a resident is entirely familiar with his housing options, he is much more likely to end up in a situation that makes him happy. Tours and information sessions for all residential areas would result in a sharp decrease in room change requests in the succeeding year.

ResLife doesn?t currently offer such services. In fact, it doesn?t make any information easily available. Its outdated Web site contains vague and inaccurate information about the physical setup of the buildings. There are no photos or floor plans, and no information at all about GLC or Hill Court.

Short tours and information sessions in every building would be great a resource for anyone living or considering living on campus. The resident advisers could run them. The spotlight could be on a different residential area each night, for a week in March. Towers on Monday, Hill Court on Tuesday, SBA on Wednesday, GLC on Thursday and the Fraternity Quad on Friday. How else are students to know where they want to live?

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