UR guarantees all rising sophomores on-campus housing, at least in theory. However, if there is no actual housing options available on campus as the lottery winds down, there is no way for the school to provide these spaces if they have all been taken up. This is an even bigger problem with a class like the one for 2017, which contains hundreds of more students than the class before it. With this in mind, there must be some way to ensure sophomores have a way of staying on-campus, while also ensuring that seniors and juniors have their choice of “the best buildings.”
To begin with, the problem of keeping sophomores on-campus is a big issue for colleges across the country. With the rising numbers of applicants and incredible sums of money being funneled to schools, expansion is on the mind of even the most elite universities. However, this desire to become bigger has to be tempered by the school’s other commitments. After all, a large number of colleges preface their school tours with statements like “four years of housing, guaranteed.” With construction having the potential to be derailed, some schools are struggling to meet their commitments while also satiating their appetite for expansion. In the face of these issues, schools are taking creative solutions, from using local hotel rooms while dorm buildings are being completed to turning lounges into super-rooms (UR jumped on this trend as well). With these problems increasingly permeating the college environment, there must be a way to ensure the UR doesn’t fall victim to breaking its commitment to the rising sophomores.
The lottery system could be revamped in a way to keep rising sophomores from being forced off-campus while making sure that those rising juniors and seniors don’t lose out on their time-honored rewards for the best housing. It’s simple. Start by giving rising sophomores the first lottery times. However, reserve certain buildings, like Riverview and Brooks Crossing, only for the rising juniors and seniors. After the rising sophomores go, the juniors and seniors will use their times like normal, the only difference being that they can choose from the buildings reserved for their classes in addition to the rooms not selected by the sophomores. Now this is not a perfect solution. However, this is a way to ensure that sophomores, who have been promised this housing, get it, while also maintaining choice options for upperclassmen.