Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Another Year, Another Housing Controvercy

Courtesy of Furman Athletics

By Amanda Richey, Assistant News Editor

Many upperclassmen started their year with stress from an inefficient housing assignment process.

The official cause for the assignment shuffling? The number of students in the class of 2018.

According to Director of Housing & Residence Life, Ron Thompson, many changes were made “in order to keep the larger than expected class together an prevent co-mingling the freshman and sophomore classes.”

These changes involved changing two upperclassmen female floors in dorms to freshman floors, temporarily displacing the upperclassmen.

Seven male North Village apartments also went through some changes and received extra beds to temporarily house sophomores “until an opportunity came available to move them into the residence halls,” Thompson said.

The Vinings housing was opened up to seniors who expressed preference in living there last spring to allow displaced juniors to move into North Village.

The drawbacks of the housing lottery system were universally recognized by upperclassmen students; however, when considering possibilities for improving the process, students were at a loss.

As many as 150 juniors were informed in the spring that they would probably be living in the dorms for the 2014-2015 academic year. According to Ron Thompson, that number is officially below 20 for the year, excluding Greek halls—one of the many alteration made during the summer break.

Cara Bradsher is one of these juniors living in dorms this year. Since the first four North Village lottery systems did not grant them an apartment, Bradsher and her friends decided to try their luck with the Lakeside dorm lottery.

The group of four found that they would be living in Judson until August rolled around, when they were given the option of the Blackwell apartment—a building typically used for freshman students in South Housing.

“We still kept our hopes up, because we’d heard something like this happened last year and that we would be pushed up to North Village when they opened the Vinings up more,” Bradsher said.

While this change has yet to occur, Bradsher and her roommates are making the most of their situation, trying to overcome the hurdles in their way.

“The Blackwell apartment itself is not that bad. The only thing that stinks is that we are all the way across campus from our friends who got North Village apartments.”

Prior to their move-in day, Bradsher and her friends were given a choice of either Blackwell or McGlothlin. At this time, they suggested to Housing that they were willing to move in to a Vining apartment if there was space available. Bradsher and her friends were told that they were not allowed to move in to the Vinings because they were not seniors, even though there were vacancies there.

“I think that Housing should open up more Vinings apartments to seniors earlier. I know plenty of people who wanted to live in the Vinings that did not get one, and if they were allowed to more into the Vinings, then there would be more room in North Village apartments for Juniors to live,” Bradsher said.

Junior Sarah Stanley, one of the students informed that she would live in Judson last spring, was not even informed by Housing that her assignment was moved to North Village. Even though she was pleased with her final assignment, she noted tension associated with the housing procedure.

“It was a very long drawn-out process, which added to the stress of Furman academics, was not a pleasant experience… I am not sure there’s a better way to do it. I hope that there is, but I do not know,” Stanley said.

The Housing and Residence Life office acknowledges the room for improvement in the current housing assignment system. According to Thompson, Michelle Styles, the Housing Assignment Coordinator, made more than 700 room changes to initial assignments throughout the summer. The office is currently developing policy changes for the upcoming housing lottery, keeping students’ opinions foremost in mind.

“We plan to make many changes to this year’s lottery, and we plan to share these updates with students once they have been developed,” Thompson said. “We will test the system with a group of students to gather their feedback before any changes are solidified.”

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