Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Housing selection likely to change

Justin Surgent/Collegian
Justin Surgent/Collegian

Residential Life is reexamining its way of prioritizing student housing for the 2012-2013 school year due to an expected increase in student enrollment, according to Executive Director of Housing and Residential Life Edward Hull.

The potential changes were discussed with members of the Residence Hall Association (RHA) Jan. 24. At the meeting, the RHA was given a handout titled “Residence Hall Room Selection Priority: 2012-13 Academic Year” that outlined the potential situation and encouraged RHA members to “think critically about the issue” and talk to students in their halls.

RHA will give their recommendation to Hull at their next meeting, said Hull.

“This is the question on the table [for them],” said Hull. “How are we going to handle housing priority next year?”

According to the document, it is possible that approximately 200 students will be told that there will not be room for them to live on campus next year. This housing shortage is “almost a certainty.”

Housing guarantees have been suspended for all students who are not first-years, according to the document.

The document proposed four models that housing priority could use next year – seniority, “sophomority,” equal opportunity and hybrid.

If the seniority model is adopted, the housing selection process will remain as is, with rising seniors having first pick of rooms. Rising juniors would pick next, and rising sophomores would have last pick.

The “sophomority” model, a term coined by Residential life, would give rising sophomores first pick. “This model responds to the question: who most needs to be housed on campus?” reads the document. It continues to state that sophomores “arguably” need more support than upperclassmen, who may be better prepared to live off campus.

The equal opportunity model would essentially turn housing into a free-for-all, as all students who apply for on-campus housing will be placed in the same lottery with priority being determined randomly, according the model’s description in the document.

The hybrid model is a combination of the “sophomority” model and the equal opportunity model. Rising sophomores would be given first pick, and then rising juniors and seniors would be placed together in a lottery, according to the document.

The document stresses that this is a temporary arrangement that housing hopes will be alleviated when the new Commonwealth Honors College Residential Complex opens in the fall of 2013. The complex will provide housing for 1,500 students.

Regardless of which model is adopted, certain residence communities will remain untouched.

North Apartments will remain only available to juniors and seniors. Selection of single rooms will proceed as it has in past years. Residence halls dedicated to the sophomore initiative will only be available to sophomores.

Living and learning communities such as Harambee: African Heritage Student Program, Kanonhsesne: Native American Student Program, Asian/Asian American Student Program, Nuance: Multicultural Student Program, 2 in 20 Program, Wellness Program, Thatcher Language Program, Gender Inclusive housing and Veteran Community housing will all be based on seniority model, according to the document.

Katie Landeck can be reached at [email protected].


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