April 15, 2005
Housing trouble for class of '08"We've always been able to house everyone on the waiting list," Ward Caldwell, associate dean of students, told students Wednesday night at the second night of the doubles housing lottery.
After the first night of the housing lottery, rumors circulated throughout campus that there were no more available rooms for students.
However, there were still about 20 rooms left at the beginning of the second night, though those rooms filled up by the end of Wednesday night.
Erica Stephenson, assistant director of residence life, said that many students signed up for rooms even though they were planning to transfer prior to the beginning of the 2005-2006 school year.
Caldwell also said that some students who signed up for rooms may withdraw before next year. Additionally, he said some may be excused for academic reasons.
Because of this uncertainty, Stephenson said she couldn't quantify the exact number of students who do not have rooms.
Students who did not get rooms on either Tuesday or Wednesday nights were put on a waiting list according to their lottery numbers.
They also filled out room preference forms. The students were asked to rank each residence option on a scale of "would love to live there" to "would hate to live there."
Caldwell said that there is a waiting list every year. "The negative is that some people may leave tonight without knowing where they will live next year.
"The positive," he said, "is that rather than getting stuck wherever is left, you get to tell us where you'd like to live," he said.
Stephenson said that the students on the waiting list will continue to be placed in housing in order of their lottery numbers as rooms become available.
The number of students who were put on the waiting list this year is only "a smidge higher" than last year, Stephenson said.
"Last year I had everyone in rooms by the beginning of June," she said.
Stephenson added that last year, all students on the waiting list ended up in the dorm they requested with their desired roommate.
She also said on Wednesday the waiting list placement process could start as early as Thursday as soon as students who plan to transfer make their final decisions.
Stephenson explained that the large size of the current senior class skewed the lottery process this year.
The doubles lottery is always split between two nights, with numbers 1 to 1,000 on Tuesday night and numbers 1,000 and greater on Wednesday night.
"In past years, that gave us a pretty good split," Stephenson said.
Normally, current juniors and sophomores would all attend the Tuesday night lottery.
Usually, only about 50 freshmen would receive lottery numbers high enough to attend the first night of the housing lottery.
However, Stephenson said that 90 percent of the freshman class attended the Tuesday night lottery this year, in addition to all of the juniors and sophomores.
"What happened at the end of Tuesday night, starting to fill up some of the residences, is what usually happens about an hour and a half into Wednesday night," Stephenson said. "It got lopsided, and everyone freaked out."
Consequently, many rumors about housing have circulated around campus since Wednesday.
One rumor was that no freshmen will be forced into triples next year in Smith Hall.
Stephenson said that is not true.
"The university always has some triples for freshmen. It's just a matter of how many and how many we're comfortable with," she said.
Because Stephenson was not happy with the number of forced triples in Smith this year, all of Reed Hall will be reserved for freshmen next year.
Another rumor Stephenson dispelled was that upperclassmen in West Hall may be forced into triples next year.
"We do not force upperclassmen into triple situations," she said.
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