Housing lottery process leaves many residents dissatisfied

By Jessica Hagerty
February 8, 2007

Anna Scholl

Junior psychology major Deborah Williams and her three roommates were very satisfied that they randomly chose the number eight out of 100 in the Cabrini Apartment Complex housing lottery.

“Eight, a very promising number,” they all thought. Williams and her roommates believed they were practically guaranteed an apartment for their senior year. However, when the apartment assignment letters were given out they were not one of those to receive one because they are current residents in the CAC.

Because every year the CAC is the most requested residence hall and because the overall class sizes continue to grow the lottery process has a new preference. Previously, apartment assignments have always been given to the groups with the lowest numbers until each apartment was assigned. Students then began to question the fairness of the procedure.

“The most common complaint has been ‘it doesn’t seem fair that some people get to live in the CAC for two years, while other students never get the opportunity,'” director of residence life George Stroud said.

Now, preference for placement in the CAC is given to students who have never lived there.

Some students, such as current CAC resident and junior mathematics major Rob Devasto, were ignorant of this policy. Devasto and his roommates were also denied an apartment for their senior year.

“If I knew the process was going to be like that then I wouldn’t have even wasted my time with the CAC lottery,” Devasto said.

Assistant director of residence life Laura Shapella said, “We have stated [the preference] for the last two years in the letter students receive about housing.”

Although Devasto, Williams and their roommates are allowed to participate in the housing lottery for the other residence halls on campus, they are still frustrated with the situation. The residence halls are in high demand among students and these students are left with a chance of being forced to find off-campus housing.

“Housing is not guaranteed for anyone at any time,” Shapella said.

Due to the growing class sizes the office of residence life may not have the space to provide housing to everyone who wishes to live on campus.

“I know there’s no way I can live off campus. I just cannot financially afford to pay rent out of my pocket,” Williams said.

Devasto agreed and said, “Some of us are not able to live off campus, like for instance if you do not have a car to drive back and forth from classes.”

Although the office of residence life took steps to make the process more reasonable to residents who have not had the chance to live in the CAC, several students still disagree with the new preference.

“I think it’s unfair because it’s a lottery. If you get a good number then you should get in,” Devasto said.

Williams and Devasto considered that building more dorms or accepting fewer people should be planned for the future.

Until then, Williams said, “We’re just going to have to wait in line really early for the regular housing lottery with everyone else and hope to get a low number.” Her roommate nodded in agreement.

Loquitur welcomes your comments and questions on this story. Please send your comments to: Loquitur@googlegroups.com. The editors will review your comments each week and make corrections if warranted.

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Jessica Hagerty

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