Students wait in New Residence Hall to get desired rooms

By Catharine Hernson
April 4, 2002

The main lounge of the New Residence Hall was turned into a campsite last weekend, as nervous residents waited for the housing selection process to begin. This year the housing selection was “first come, first serve,” as opposed to the points system used last year or the lottery system used the previous year. Some students really liked the new way of doing things; others felt it was unfair and poorly organized.

Students were so anxious to get into the living space that they wanted that some camped out all night. The first day of housing selection was Friday for people wanting to live in the apartments. Some students heard that others were sleeping in the lounge all night to get the apartment they wanted so, they came in at eight am.

The first people to get there were Marco Iacono and Heather Buonacuore. Iacono explained his eagerness to wake up early on a Friday morning. “We wanted to get first pick. I didn’t want to wait around to get shafted. We got shafted last year,” he said.

To keep busy the students residing temporarily in the lounge, watched movies, played cards and invented games. One group of men started a game of catch mixed with hot potato using an orange. Being in the lounge for eight hours led to some interesting new past-times for the students. Some students did not want to play or keep busy in any way; they chose to sleep the wait away instead. Blankets and pillows were strewn about the lounge by the time the housing selection process was to begin.

There were rules in the waiting game. One member of each group had to be in the lounge at all times to remain on the waiting list. Students went out in shifts to get food or go the restroom or just to get outside in general. Some people chose to go to Wawa o McDonald’s to escape the lounge and get some much-needed food. At the end of the day the main lounge was littered with Wawa coffee cups, balled-up bags from McDonald’ s, papers of all sorts, and candy wrappers.

The administration was happy with the students’ perseverance, and not threatened by the early morning mob of students waiting to get an apartment. “I don’t think it’s crazy, I think the people had a good time. It was not that early, it shows how much it matters to them.” Shayla Hasic-Stamps, assistant director of Residence Life, said.

The apartment selection process went smoothly, the rest of the weekend was not bad but not quite as easy as Friday. Saturday’s housing was for students who are currently freshman and intend to live in sophomore housing next year. Houses available to these students filled up quickly, as only houses One, Two and Three were open for them. They also had the option of living in the NRH, many students walked around the building looking for the perfect room during the waiting period.

The freshman selection was finished ahead of schedule when all the available rooms were filled within an hour. Most students were able to live in the building they wanted to and were generally happy with the process.

There were some complaints about the “first come, first serve” process of this year’s selection process. Some students were unaware that people were settling into line at 5:30 am. The students were also not happy that the selection was taking place in the NRH, because it gave an advantage to students who live in the building to write their names on the list earlier. This was one complaint that spanned the weekend.

Sunday was the worst day for housing selection according to the students who stayed up all night in the lounge just to stay as high on the waiting list as they could. Students started to camp out in the lounge at 9 p.m. Saturday.

The houses on the block for Sunday were for next year’s junior and senior classes. Houses Four, Five, Six and Seven were to be filled between 2:00 and 7:00 pm. The process was done by 4:00 pm that day.

There were more students then available rooms in the houses, which left some students homeless or living in a sophomore building for a second year. The line that formed that night was all residents of the NRH; the early grouping on the waiting list angered students living in other buildings.

One student said, “If I had known that people were here camping-out I would have been here too. It’s not fair that because they live in the building they’re all here at nine o’clock the night before. There should be more rules.”

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Catharine Hernson

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