Housing selection changes for rising seniors

By Haley Costen
Staff Writer

pic of evans hall
Photo: Lee Kennedy Building Partnerships

The College announced on Friday, March 20 that the housing selection process for rising seniors will change in the upcoming housing selection nights.

The order of selection will be determined by the class level of each roommate or suitemates, as opposed to the previous selection process, which allowed seniors to pull up underclassmen into suites, according to an email from Director of Residence Life Jess Samuels.

The first to select rooms or suites will be rising seniors paired with rising seniors, followed by rising seniors who are pulling up juniors, then rising seniors pulling up sophomores, and ending with seniors who are pulling up second semester first years. The last group of seniors to select is those who cannot fill a room or suite.

“Last year, rising seniors shared concerns that housing options were limited for them because many other rising seniors were pulling up sophomores and juniors into Evans and Smith suites,” Samuels said.

In Smith Hall, 48 percent of spaces (out of 102 beds) were taken by non-seniors, and in Evans, 34 percent of spaces (out of 73 beds) were taken by non-seniors, according to Samuels.

Spring 2014 and March 2015 survey results were also a factor in the decision to change the process, with the majority of respondents expressing a desire for seniors who live with seniors to get preference during the selection, according to Samuels.

“We gave several options to the juniors,” Samuels said of the surveys. “On one end of the range was the plan to keep the process exactly how it is. On the other end of the range was changing selection so that rising seniors can only pull up rising seniors during their selection.”

Residence Life and the current juniors met in the middle, deciding on the new process, which gives preference to rising seniors pulling up rising seniors.

There will be no changes to the housing selection for rising juniors and sophomores, according to Samuels. Everyone but seniors will be able to pull up any students.

Samuels said in her email that she and the Office of Residence Life worked closely with the Junior Class Council to solidify a process that would be most fair to all of the rising senior class.

Samuels also reminded students who cannot fill an entire suite or room that after a room is selected, anyone can choose to fill the vacancy thereafter without the consent of the students who originally selected it. However, students can inform Residence Life if they have someone in mind for the space.

If students cannot attend housing selection on the first night of their status level, they can complete a proxy form and give their lottery card to a proxy who can attend the selection and pick a room.

Amelia McConnell, the assistant director of Residence Life, announced on Tuesday that anyone who withdraws from housing between July 8 and Sept. 15 of this year will be charged a $400 administrative fee and will lose their housing deposit.

The fee was added to the licensing agreement in order to encourage students to make timely housing plans, according to an email from McConnel.

There will be a general information session aimed at students who are new to the selection process Thursday from 6 – 7 p.m. in the Morse Hall first floor lounge.

There is an information session for upperclassman students on Monday, March 30, at 7 p.m. in the Arnold Hall first floor lounge.

The priority housing deadline is Wednesday, April 1, and the deadline to withdraw from housing is March 27 at midnight.

Any questions can be directed to reslife@simmons.edu.