Campus / News / February 11, 2015

Students fight problems in housing lottery

housing graphic (web)

With Spring Term quickly approaching, many students are considering where they want to live next year. As students gear up for the housing lottery, many are concerned about what number they will be given and how this will affect their future living situation.

“I’ve had friends who were upperclassman who haven’t got into an apartment. But as long as you don’t have underclassmen being picked ahead of seniors there’s not too much [Campus Life] can do,” junior Rohail Khan said.

One of the most common complaints against the system is underclassmen being able to live in apartments when some seniors and juniors are not. Koreen Kerfoot, Assistant Director of Campus Life for Housing Operations, said that this is completely up to the lottery system.

The system divides students into three groups based on seniority and their number of credits. After being categorized, each student is given a computer-generated lottery number. If at this point a student feels that they have been incorrectly grouped, Kerfoot said they should take to Campus Life.

For students applying to live in apartments or block housing with a group of friends, the lottery numbers of the group are averaged and the groups with the lowest average are given first priority.

Each lottery number is computer-generated and completely random. Therefore, if a sophomore happens to be living in Hamblin, it is most likely due to the fact that he or she is living with juniors or seniors.

When choosing where to live in the next year, students can also apply to live off-campus if they have junior standing, although there are exceptions.

Sophomore Jessica Chrzan described her experience trying to live off-campus as “a long battle.”

“After senior week, Koreen emailed me saying that I hadn’t filled out an application for [off-campus] housing. I filled out the form and they didn’t get back to me until the beginning of August. They told me no,” Chrzan said.

Chrzan sent an email to Kerfoot explaining that she had already signed a lease and put down a security deposit.

Junior Katie Greve had a similar problem when she moved off campus her sophomore year. Greve, who worked with Associate Dean of Students Craig Southern, said that she had a much more positive experience.

“I had to make a list of reasons why it would be better to move off-campus and how I would stay involved with the Knox community. I am still involved with the community,” Greve said. “The other day I brought tea to Yellows 6 and we did homework and gave each other back massages.”

As a four-year residential college, students are technically required to remain on campus all four years; however, there are a few exceptions made if students are older than 24, married, employed by the military or if there are not enough spots on campus.

“I’m completely against their system of not letting you off-campus. It should be up to the student. It should be an open choice. The college shouldn’t be dictating it. I think that should change. The Senate should vote or people should write an open letter,” Khan said.

Many students opt for off-campus living, as it is more financially feasible. Khan, who has friends who live off campus, and Chrzan both cited financial feasibility as one of the main reasons for moving.

“We pay $200 a month each,” Greve said.

Students living in a standard double room each pay $4,368 per school year, with single rooms and apartments costing more.

Savannah Trent

Tags:  campus life dorm dorm life Hamblin Hall housing housing lottery koreen kerfoot off-campus residential life tompkins

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