With final exams soon approaching, it’s of great relief to the student body that the hassle of picking housing arrangements for the coming semester is over. At the conclusion of the week of April 12, most students going through the University’s Room Draw system had chosen their future homes, which come in the form of apartment-style or traditional residence hall options.
Unfortunately, some of the rising sophomores have yet to receive a housing assignment. While this may appear problematic, Stephen Apanel, director of Housing Services, says that such a situation is not at all an irregular occurrence.
“What will happen is during the summer, we’ll provide [sophomores] with housing assignments based on where students withdraw from, students who decide to go abroad, and so on,” Apanel said.
Apanel said that the feedback Housing Services receives is typically from those who have yet to be assigned rooms, or those who didn’t get what they were looking for.
“We do have processes for [these kinds of students]. There’s a whole room change process, for ranking your preferences and indicating where you’d like to live, and whom you’d like to live with as well,” Apanel said.
Katie Sidlowski ’18 said that as a rising sophomore, she went into the process knowing that she wasn’t going to get her top pick, so she kept her expectations low and was pleasantly surprised when she ended up with a double in Larison Hall.
“My housing situation turned out fine. I obviously didn’t get my first choice as I was number 67 [out of 400], but it could have been much worse,” Sidlowski said.
Apanel said that all and all, housing concluded as expected, with most of the rising seniors ending up in the Gateway and the new South Campus Apartments, most sophomores in Bucknell West, Larison Hall, Trax Hall, or Kress Hall, and the entirety of the rising juniors ending up fairly scattered. The latter occurrence is typical because much of the junior class consists of students studying abroad or living in housing related to their Greek organizations.
“When it came time for rising juniors to pick, only about 250 of them [were actually involved in the lottery]. While for rising sophomores there’s like 800 [students], and rising seniors, there’s 600 or so,” Apanel said.
Because Roberts Hall will be renovated next spring semester, accommodations need to be made for students assigned to live there this coming fall. Gabby Gomes ’18 said that she was upset that the rules mandating housing selection did not apply to Roberts, as students were capable of blocking, or reserving, an entire floor for themselves.
“A few, very large groups of 10 or more girls were able to block together when blocks are limited to four people everywhere else on campus. Smaller blocks began joining together in order to ensure housing. There were also several double rooms on the same floor that only had one occupant, therefore preventing people from blocking together to live in the same room,” Gomes said.
While Gomes was able to obtain a room in Roberts, she said that she is upset by the fact that she will have to move out after the fall semester.
“I feel like there could have been much better planning in terms of the [renovation] of Roberts and the placement of sophomores in that building,” Gomes said.
Apanel said that there have only been a few conversations about the relocation of students living in Roberts next semester, but he is confident that assuring such students new living arrangements will not be an issue.
“There will be a special room change process for them in November, for them to start requesting where they want to go. Our goal is to relocate them as best as we can,” Apanel said.