By: Roger Hoke – Staff Writer
In light of the newly implemented housing policy, the housing and residence life staff met with several students Oct. 3 to clear up confusion and obtain student feedback on the new policy.
In early October, the housing and residence life staff introduced a new housing system which eliminated the old housing lottery. The new system is based mainly on student involvement in school engagement activities.
Jim Froehlich, the director of housing operations, focused solely on the main issues he thought students did not fully comprehend, the first being the concern that first-years could obtain more housing points than students in higher classes.
“Since the points earned reset every single year for all classes, first-years ‘racking up points’ is not going to be an issue,” Froehlich said.
The second concern brought up in the session was an attempt to figure out, from a small sample, how students were reacting to the new policy.
Most students who attended the meeting came in either not knowing what the new policy was or had slight concerns about it.
“At first I was a little reluctant about the new housing policy,” Kadeem Clarke, a fifth year chemical engineering major, said. “After having it better explained, I’d say it is a good change for the school.”
Younger students, who were unaware of the old housing policy, are more acquainted with the newly installed method.
“Not knowing much about the old process, it was hard to tell how I felt about the new one,” Erin Murphy, a sophomore marketing major, said. “Now that I know, I think the new process seems like it makes it a lot easier for students to get what they want.”
Some of the students spoke of past problems encountered with the previous housing lottery, and they feel this is a better process.
“This seems to be the best way to have a fair process with students still being able to choose and affect their own outcome,” Nick Brehl, a junior political science major, said.
However, members of student organizations, specifically the Student Government Association, showed some opposition to the new process.
“The housing and residence life staff are mandating events for students to go to, or they end up getting bad housing,” Chris Crisanti, a SGA senator for the class of 2015, said.
Steve Herndon, assistant dean of students and the executive director of housing and residence life, met with SGA Oct. 5 to go over details of the new housing system.
“Undoubtedly lots of controversies arose when the new housing system was explained to SGA, especially among the senators,” he said.
The student senator went on to speak of examples of concerns he had heard brought up.
“People who are highly involved on campus are not pleased because all the events needed to gain points are just another thing to add to a busy schedule,” Crisanti said.
“There are also certain majors that cannot attend many of these events due to the odd scheduled classes they have to take,” Crisanti said.
Crisanti added that fifth year seniors could be put into a level playing field with rising sophomores and that commuters have a struggle trying to get points as they are not always on campus for the engagement opportunities.
Other members of SGA thought the process could be improved from feedback and then implemented next school year.
“The process of implanting the system has been too fast paced and information has not been properly communicated,” Crisanti said. “Why is it being implemented in October and not next year?”
Overall, Crisanti and the members of SGA hope for reform.
“People aren’t liking it, and Housing and Residence Life are going to have to adjust,” Crisanti said.
A Flyer News poll was conducted online showing a majority of students were not pleased with the transition in the housing process from the lottery to Aviate. In an online poll conducted by Flyer News in which 96 students participated as of Monday, nine percent of participants voted that the policy is better than the lottery system, 70 percent voted that the new policy is worse and 16 percent voted that he or she wished there was more student input involved. The poll can be accessed for further voting and results at epoll.me/v/ACRZW5uxsz4.
The housing and residence life staff is looking to hold future feedback sessions with students, and information will be posted on the Aviate page on Orgsync.
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