Housing woes miff students

    The room selection process on April 17 raised a variety of complaints and concerns regarding inadequate space for next year’s on-campus housing due to the large number of new and continuing students that have been guaranteed housing for two years. Students will be scattered among different colleges, and room tripling has occurred at every college.

    Tyler Huff
    Guardian

    The deadline for continuing students to file their housing applications on StudentLink was April 11, and room selection appointment times were randomly given to each group of students.

    Thurgood Marshall College anticipates an entering freshman class of 700, along with 670 continuing students who are eligible for housing. Although the Residential Life office originally anticipated that 80 percent of these eligible students would return to live on campus, about 83 percent are returning.

    The Residential Life Office decided to reserve half of the Lowers for incoming freshmen, and all apartments in the Uppers will house groups of five. Part of the Marshall residential halls and 35 housing spaces in Earl Warren College will also be filled with continuing Marshall students next year.

    Rachel A. Garcia
    Guardian

    “”Warren had to redistribute their spaces to help us out,”” said Yolanda Trevino, residential dean of Marshall.

    The decision to reserve a portion of the Lowers for next year’s freshmen along with the decision to house three students in certain rooms was met by complaints from several Marshall students.

    “”I’m mad at ResLife because I wanted a single,”” said Jocelyn Wong, a Marshall freshman who will be living in Warren’s Black Hall next year. “”They said voluntary triples, and it’s not voluntary anymore. How do you miscalculate by that much? And ResLife is seriously already anti-social. While the other colleges have normal dorms, we have suites. So it’s already hard to meet people, and now they’re putting freshmen in the Lowers?””

    Other students were disappointed in the lack of communication between ResLife and the student body. The original housing brochures and the room selection Web site do not mention the possibility of Marshall students living in Warren or in the Marshall residential halls next year. Both the brochures and the Web site also claim that students can triple-up on a voluntary, but not a mandatory basis.

    “”I’m disappointed that the office of residential life decided to room freshmen in the Lowers without getting any input from the student body,”” said Travis Silva, chairman-elect of Thurgood Marshall College Student Council. “”It seems that there was a lack of student input in that decision. I’m also a little disappointed that the office of ResLife didn’t communicate really effectively with the students the policies that they were going through with. They didn’t tell us until this week there’d be forced tripling.””

    According to Trevino, Marshall students were made aware of the possibility of living in Warren at the housing information session on Feb. 27, and this possibility was confirmed at the second session on April 13.

    In John Muir College, 80 percent of single rooms were saved for continuing students, and double rooms were also converted to triples. Housing flyers and brochures depict Muir and Warren apartments as choices for continuing Muir students’ housing, but continuing students were also housed in the residential halls of Tioga and Tenaya, as well as in Pepper Canyon, Geneva Hall in Eleanor Roosevelt College and Discovery Hall in Revelle College.

    “”[ResLife] couldn’t have been more fair in the way it was done, in terms of the lottery system,”” said Diana Combs, a Muir freshman who had a much later room selection appointment time. “”We just got the bad end of the stick. Unfortunately, they don’t have enough ideal spaces for their students.””

    A few students were left off of the list for housing appointments, even though they filed an application. Faryn Agiert, a Marshall freshman, filed her housing application but was not on the housing list. She will be waitlisted beginning June 2.

    Other complaints about the housing selection process arose during Room Selection Day.

    “”I’m disappointed about the whole [situation] — where if one person’s not there, then they get dropped — because one of my people didn’t show up,”” said Heera Basi, a Revelle freshman who will be living in Pepper Canyon next year.

    Concerns about the two-year housing guarantee for entering freshmen have also been raised. According to Trevino, a one-year guarantee is more practical, but has been shown to decrease student involvement in organizations and on campus in general.

    “”We just don’t have adequate housing for all our students,”” Trevino said. “”We’re high commodity now for housing space.””

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