Housing Services updates selection process


Housing Services changed the order of priority given to groups in the housing selection process for the 2024-2025 academic year, emphasizing previously overlooked parts of on-campus housing.

The final part of the selection process ended on March 28.

Unlike in previous years, the deadlines for the housing contract and selection days were the same for sophomores, juniors and seniors. In the past, groups of four selected their housing first, while singles selected last. 

This year, the smallest groups got to select first.

Christina D’Aversa, the associate director of Housing Services, said the change helped groups understand they were selecting housing with the exact number of spots in their group. This prevents smaller groups from sharing a space, such as two groups of two sharing a four-person space. 

She said Housing Services prioritized communication with juniors and seniors, who may have assumed the process would be the same as the year before.

Because sophomores are new to the housing selection process, D’Aversa said Housing Services did not focus the marketing on that class, but they did communicate with them about limited housing options. 

Juniors and seniors are given priority in the selection process, so space for sophomores is limited by the time they select housing. 

In Farrington Square, a popular selection for apartment-style housing, typically only two to three spaces are available to sophomores. D’Aversa said in the past, the sophomore class often overestimated their chances of getting one of those spots.

“To say to 1,000 second-years ‘There’s gonna be three Farringtons,’ they get really excited at the opportunity that they might be those three, but that’s not really space,” D’Aversa said.

Housing for groups of three also goes mostly to juniors and seniors.

D’Aversa said because of this, Housing Services have become more upfront about what options are available to sophomores.

This year, the department used a combination of Zoom recordings, in-person office hours and emails to ensure all students participating in the housing selection process had access to the necessary information.

For many students, being well-informed was only a part of the challenge.

Riley Hillen, ‘27, who applied for housing in a group of four, said the information was relatively easy to understand, but waiting to make a selection through the lottery was nerve-racking. 

“There was nothing crazy,” Hillen said. “It was just the stress of waiting for what number slot we were gonna get because that really makes or breaks your whole sophomore year.” 

Sophomores participating in Greek Life have more certainty because they are guaranteed a spot in their sorority or fraternity house.

Michelle Kahe, ‘27, who will be living in a sorority house next year, said she was spared a lot of the stress some of her classmates experienced when applying for housing.

“I feel like it was a lot less stressful,” Kahe said. “It was more like a laid-back process for me.”

However, because Greek sophomores are guaranteed space in their houses, few are left for juniors and seniors.

In previous years, the number of juniors and seniors applying for Greek housing was low enough for the process to remain equitable.

Now more upperclassmen are competing for fewer spots, so D’Aversa said Housing Services wants to give juniors and seniors a fair opportunity to live on campus.

This year, the alternative to Greek Life housing is the lottery.

After they sign their housing contract, rising juniors and seniors get assigned a randomized time to select their housing. Early times have more options available, and later times pick from what’s left.

“The rule is as a junior or senior, you get one opportunity to live on campus,” D’Aversa said. “So if you’re Greek, your first opportunity is your fraternity or sorority house. Well, if they literally can’t fit anybody in, that’s not really an opportunity. So then your opportunity becomes the lottery.”

D’Aversa said what may seem like a change in Housing Services’ policy actually represents a change in how Housing Services communicate.

She said the department makes ongoing efforts to effectively communicate as staff attempt to keep students well-informed without overwhelming them with reminders. 

“It’s a fine line of getting the information to them and making sure you’ve sent it enough that it won’t get missed, and giving them so many emails that they get frustrated and they just start ignoring us,” D’Aversa said.

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