Housing Woes: Some Students Express Frustration with Housing Options at Bucknell

Courtney Banks, Contributing Writer

This time of year, the big question around campus is “Where are you living next year?” Some students are eager to disclose their housing plans for the 2022-2023 school year, while others grumble at this question—a sign that housing selection did not exactly go as planned for them. 

Word around campus, generally, has been that housing selection was even more ruthless this year than it has been in the past. Some folks have suggested that the increasing first year class sizes in the last few years are contributing to the difficulty of this year’s housing selection process.

“Even though the University has increased enrollment, we have balanced that with the number of students approved to live off-campus. It is common for students to not be able to get exactly what they want for housing. When we survey students, only about 50 percent get their top choice after room selection concludes. However, we provide other opportunities such as upgrades and waitlists where we work with students 1-on-1 during the summer months to try to get a location they prefer and be with their social circles,” Director of Housing Services Stephan Apanel said. 

Some students have also expressed their desire for the school to provide additional housing, but as Apanel says, “At this time, there is not a larger plan to increase the number of available beds on campus.” 

It is important to note that the University guarantees four years of on campus housing, so all students will end up somewhere, it just might not be where they would prefer to be.

Several rising juniors faced this dilemma. Many students in the class of 2024 had aspirations of living in the Gateway Apartments, however, all rooms in the Gateways were filled before housing selection even began for rising juniors. Situations like this one have prompted frustration from students. 

“Overall, I think the Bucknell housing situation definitely needs to improve. There is not enough housing for the amount of students at Bucknell, and the housing options for students — considering the price we pay — are not worth the money. Bucknell needs to do better in its system for selecting housing and make it so students enjoy where they are living,” Allie Lopez ’24 said. 

But not all students felt frustration, and several students were placed in the preferred housing options. Students who opted to reside in Affinity Houses were able to apply to live in these homes before the regular housing selection began. 

“I’m living in the OEL house next year, which was so nice to be set before all the sophomores had to figure out housing,” Addie Priest, ’25 said. Applying to live in one of the University’s Affinity houses is an option if a student is interested in one of the themes available. Affinity Housing is also a way that students can reduce some of the stress involved in housing selection, as the Affinity House application process takes place before regular housing selection. 

Regardless of students’ feelings about their housing next year, everyone will have a room on campus next year. If housing selection didn’t go as planned, students should consider applying for an upgrade. Housing Services say they will do their best to place students somewhere they’d like to be.

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