Housing lottery this year leaves many students upset, on campus

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Aubrey Zych, Editor-in-Chief

While many freshmen and sophomores are excited to find out where and who they’ll be living with next school year, many juniors on campus are grunting and moaning at this year’s housing lottery.

Many juniors say they feel the system of only allowing a small number of seniors to live off campus is unfair, and much different than that of other colleges’.

“Many other colleges make students live on campus for freshman and sophomore year, and then students that are juniors and seniors can live off campus,” Ashley Peck, a junior said. “Perhaps, because Le Moyne is a smaller college, I could understand if just seniors are to live off campus. I think forcing students to live on campus constricts the students, and hinders their opportunities to be successful outside of the campus.”

But the Office of Campus Life and Leadership says not much has changed since last year’s lottery, and students should have known this coming in.

“Le Moyne has always been a residential campus, so our policy hasn’t changed on that in the past years,” Ann Bersani, associate director of campus life and leadership said. “This year’s process is the same as last year’s with a few improvements.”

According to Bersani, everything has remained the same except for a few changes to the rooms, a decision that was based on student feedback. These changes include separating the six and eight person suites in Foery, the two and three person apartments, as well as the triples and doubles. Campus Life has also added three new residential areas on campus: three-person townhouses, doubles in Foery, and the Leaders in Business Special Interest community on the third floor of Mitchell Hall.

Bersani explained that the housing lottery is conducted by a random drawing, a system that they believe to be fairest to all students.

“Each student completes the application and, if applicable, writes in any group members names on the form,” she explained. “The groups are all printed onto a small piece of paper that is the same size, folded and put into a container. We pull each group out of the container one by one and document the order in which they were.”

The same process works for seniors wishing to live off campus as well, Bersani said. This year, CLL allowed 20 seniors off-campus living privileges.

“This year, the first 20 names were given permission to live off-campus,” she said. “The remainder of the people on the list are then in order that they were pulled to be on a waiting list in the event that we are able to allow more students to live off-campus.”

However, not all students feel they had enough say in the process, and that the system is in need of updating.

Christine Grayton, a junior, said she believes the system is fair, but only allowing a small number of seniors to live off campus while making the others stay on is unfair.

“Seniors should be allowed to live off-campus if they need to,” she said. “Students with internships or jobs pertaining to their education and few class credits should be able to easily have access to off-campus housing without putting up a long-winded fight about it.”

“I definitely wish I had more say in how the lottery was conducted,” Peck added. “As students, we are taught to advocate for ourselves, and the rights that we feel are reasonable and necessary. However, I felt as though my attempts to explain my situation were not responded to.”

Peck will be entering her final semester next fall, where she will spend the entire semester working off campus as a student teacher in Cicero, NY. Peck said she had hoped to live off-campus closer to her job to help her commute and avoid the chaos that can come with on-campus dorms and apartments.

“I spoke to Campus Life many times about my particular situation and they told me that I would just have to follow Le Moyne protocol and do the housing lottery,” Peck added. “I think the off-campus housing should be available to student who are in need of living off campus, [such as] those who have an internship or student teaching. Those who are carrying jobs, student teaching or internships off-campus should have priority before the housing lottery.”

But according to college campus policy, Campus Life will not make exceptions to students living off campus except for those who are commuting while living with their parents, those who are married or those who have children.

“Le Moyne is a residential campus. And, as a residential campus, Le Moyne considers the provision of on-campus housing to be a very important part of its educational mission,” Bersani said.

This is not the first time Campus Life has received backlash for its housing lottery policies. Last year, Campus Life announced to juniors that they would not allow any off-campus housing for seniors, causing an uproar amongst the then junior class. The announcement resulted in students taking to social media and The Dolphin newspaper to voice their opinions. Several days later, Campus Life reconsidered their decision, and agreed to allow off-campus living to a small number of students.

Yet despite the complaints, as it stands now, the system is here to stay. Those unhappy with their living arrangements can sign up on the waiting list to be put in a different situation. Any students with questions or concerns about the lottery or their living arrangements can contact Amelia Hoffman or Ann Bersani. Students are also encouraged to visit the Campus Life and Leadership website and their Facebook page. According to Bersani, updates on the housing selection process will be posted in those two locations.