Housing Selection Hits a Roadblock

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Housing Selection Hits a Roadblock

Gerber Hall

Gerber Hall

Courtesy of Anna Downs/ The Charger Bulletin

Gerber Hall

Courtesy of Anna Downs/ The Charger Bulletin

Courtesy of Anna Downs/ The Charger Bulletin

Gerber Hall

Karina Krul, Ediotr-In-Chief

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The 2019-2020 housing selection process took place over the last few weeks, and encountered some problems along the way. The system crashed on Friday, March 29, causing many students to be left in the dark, and forced them to restart the process the next day.

The housing system crashed due to a technical error with the server. When the crash occurred, it affected all students who had not yet reserved a housing assignment. These students were assigned a new time to reserve a room in the order of their originally selected numbers, and they restarted the process once the system was restored.

Amanda Emmerich, a junior criminal justice major, is one of the students currently without housing. In the initial selection process she was given a room assignment, but due to the system crash it was revoked. Emmerich never got another chance to choose a room before all rooms were taken.

“We do not have a place to live next year,” said Emmerich.

She said her and her parents have tried to email and call for more information and are upset with how the university is handling the situation because “no one cares enough to even have a conversation.”

“Why do we keep accepting more and more students if we don’t have the capacity to hold all of them?” said Emmerich.

Recently, the university began guaranteeing four years of housing to incoming freshman classes. This began in the fall of 2016 with the now rising seniors, which means this year is the first time every student meeting the requirements has been guaranteed housing. According to Nicole McGrath, associate dean of Residential Life, students must “continuously reside in university housing and meet all room deposit and room selection eligibility criteria and deadlines.”

Although every student meeting these requirements is guaranteed a place in campus housing, not every student with this guarantee has been placed into a dorm room. McGrath said that the Office of Residential Life (ORL) is working with the students without an assignment to find them housing. McGrath does not think there will be a problem placing all students who requested housing. She also said that they do not anticipate needing to refund room deposits.

“Historically, we have been able to assist every student who has requested housing,” said McGrath.

Erin Cuomo, a junior public relations major, was not directly impacted by the system crash, but is currently without housing due to a lack of available dorms. Her and her group needed to go into the incomplete housing process because there were no four-person rooms available when their time slot came. Cuomo said the that the rooms available for incomplete senior housing were gone without half an hour and they have not yet heard whether or not they would receive and room soon.

“They knew how many students submitted $500 deposits, and they knew how many rooms were available,” said Cuomo. “I’m shocked at how complicated this situation is, and disappointed that proactive steps weren’t taken to prevent this.”

Some students were affected in ways other than not receiving housing. Morgan Fitch, a freshman forensic science major, said her group attempted to login to the housing site early, but were unable to get through. When they went to ORL, after their time had passed, they were told that the site was down and the office was unable to send emails. Fitch said when she attempted to register after the crash, she received a message that “there were no rooms available for our criteria.”

“We had no idea what that meant,” said Fitch.

Lynnsey Spader, a freshman music industry major, was affected in a similar way, when her original group had to split into two because the last five-person suite was taken before their new time slot post-system crash.

Spader and Fitch both said that the university should have done something to notify students that there would not be enough of certain types of rooms.

“I will be working closely with our software vendor and taking all necessary steps to ensure that MyHousing runs smoothly moving forward,” said McGrath. “We value our students’ commitment to living on campus, as it is the contributions of our students that make our resident halls the vibrant and thriving communities that they are.”