Below are the changes to be implemented for the 2017-18 Housing Lottery. Many of these changes directly derive from student expressed priorities.
- Housing Lottery is now called Room Registration
- Designating 50 beds to sophomores and reducing the number allotted for seniors
- Moving most theme communities to ADA-accessible locations, which will likely result in a reduction of the number of themes
- Student acceptance to a theme or living option community no longer means guaranteed housing
- Last year’s Hardship Applications process has been refined and is now called Priority Housing and will occur before Room Registration
- The process by which students working with Disability Support Services request and receive on-campus housing as an accommodation has been updated
Details of Changes
Housing Lottery is now be called Room Registration
The word “lottery” does not accurately describe the process, as it will by design (and in keeping with student input) provide preferential access to some students. Room Registration acknowledges that there are several routes to securing housing on campus, all of which end with logging into the housing portal to select a room and sign a housing contract.
Designating 50 beds to sophomores and reducing the number allotted for seniors
About 50 beds currently designated for seniors have been reassigned to sophomores. These spaces were not taken from the Senior Apartments in the RCAs. Many students felt that the number of senior beds on campus was too high, and that seniors often are better equipped to find housing off campus. Sophomores who live on campus are more likely to graduate, so it makes sense to give them a better chance at securing on-campus housing. In addition, rising sophomores and their families typically express the most concern about living off campus.
Moving most theme communities to ADA-accessible locations
Most theme communities will be moved to ADA-accessible areas in order to address concerns about access to participation in theme housing for students with disabilities. This will result in a reduction of overall theme bed spaces, which is in direct response to student feedback. The criteria for theme approval and specifics about this change is being determined in collaboration with the Theme Housing Committee, which includes Residence Life staff, House Advisers, and representatives from Honor Council and Senate. Women’s Floor and Substance Free communities remain in accessible locations and a specific number of beds are reserved for students who demonstrate a compelling reason for wanting to live in these communities.
Student acceptance to a theme community no longer means guaranteed housing
The process by which students secure housing in themes and living options has been changed in order to address concerns about students receiving guaranteed housing through the theme process. The Theme Housing Committee is determining criteria by which all theme applications are evaluated, and all students who meet these criteria will be accepted into the theme, regardless of the number of beds available. This means that acceptance to a theme or living option is no longer a guarantee for housing. Instead, the availability of housing in themes is determined by a student’s acceptance to the theme(s), their room registration time slot, and how many students before them select rooms in that particular theme. Students can now be accepted to multiple themes, and when they go to select a room, they will see any remaining beds in those themes, in addition to any other non-theme beds they may qualify for*. The Theme Housing Committee is working with themes to ensure that all students who are accepted to a theme are included in the community, even if they are not able to secure a bed in that theme. Acceptance to a Language House still results in a guaranteed bed.
*Update, February 2017: The theme committee concluded that accepted theme and living option applicants will only be able to see available rooms in the themes and living options to which they were accepted, until those beds have all been selected. After all theme and living option beds have been selected, applicants who have yet to select a room will then be able to select from any remaining general rooms that are still available during Room Selection.
The Hardship Applications process is now Priority Housing and it occurs before Room Registration
Many students felt that the Hardship Application process that took place in Spring was a great idea, and that it should continue with some expansion and adjustments. The name of this process has been changed to Priority Housing, and it runs prior to Room Registration in order to reduce some of the stress related to obtaining housing on campus. In addition, a Priority Housing Committee has been established and they will implement the application process.
The process by which students working with Disability Support Services request and receive on-campus housing as an accommodation has been updated
Disability Support Services will continue to refine the housing accommodation process and, for some students, guaranteed on-campus housing may be an accommodation. This is determined through an interactive conversation between those students and Disability Support Services. Student Services is also collaborating with Facilities to establish a long-term plan to address accessibility in campus houses.