By Madeleine Thompson
This year, Housing and Residential Life received applications from 256 students (52 groups) for the 44 apartments in the North Campus Apartment (NCA)/Morgan Apartment housing lottery. A five-member committee was responsible for reviewing all the applications and assigning lottery numbers to the groups. According to Assistant Dean of Students for Housing and ResLife Alicia Dugas, this process took between 150 and 200 hours from the beginning of Spring Break to last Saturday’s housing lottery. This was the committee’s first year assigning numbers as opposed to giving just a “yes” or “no,” and it seems there are many kinks in the system.
Students who admitted to being Good Samaritaned on ResLife’s application were docked points, even though Good Samaritans are not part of a student’s judicial record. The committee also factored in judicial issues in which a student was involved but not at fault.
On Thursday, April 11, Dugas called an emergency meeting of all apartment housing applicants. “I found out at the very last minute that all-senior groups were placed in a worse picking category than junior-senior groups,” Dugas said. “I really felt like that correction needed to happen.”
Audrey White ’14 applied for an NCA expecting to get a relatively good number but was assigned 47 out of 44 available apartments. “I can’t tell you how many times they said juniors weren’t ahead of us,” said White, who knew of juniors with better numbers. “My biggest problem was that they weren’t hearing me out.”
Roughly 100 students attended last Thursday’s meeting where Dugas addressed the apartment lottery issues. Though she agreed with some committee decisions, Dugas said in some cases inadmissible information unfairly biased their assignment decisions.
“I greatly apologized and explained what happened,” Dugas said. “I think every student I met with or got emails from thanked me for doing the process the right way.”
Dugas corrected these issues by granting the appeals of some groups and re-assigning the numbers of others. “I had them come in, explained what happened … took the numbers that they should have been given the opportunity to have, turned them over upside down on my floor and then allowed them to pick a number,” Dugas said.
At the apartment lottery, at 9:00 a.m. last Saturday, each of the 52 groups who were accepted and who showed up had the chance to get an apartment. A few groups purposefully did not show up, preferring to take their chances in the regular lottery. One group missed their call number, so an eight-person NCA ended up in the regular lottery.
To fix the process for next year, Dugas will start by asking theme housing groups, division housing groups, the Housing and Dining Committee and individual students how the lottery process could be better. She will not do the apartment lottery the same way again. “It’s too much,” she said.