The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Housing crunch

While Kris Gray may not have received complaints from many students after housing sign up was over, I’ve certainly heard people bemoaning the situation in which they’ve been put. Something is wrong with that picture. Another year of Guilford is coming to an end, and with it, there was a mad scramble to register for classes, finish papers on time and, of course, sign up for housing for the upcoming year.

Once again the hectic first week of April has left some dissatisfied and others pleased. And me, I find myself at the butt of some cosmic housing joke, yet again.

After residential life put me with someone who I had never met and with whom I had nothing in common, when the person I had planned to live with didn’t come back for the 2006-07 school year, I’ve been nothing less than pissed off.

So I was looking forward to a nice junior year in an apartment or a Mary Hobbs single and not living with someone I didn’t know. The reality of the matter is that instead of a private space, I get to look forward to the concrete and cinderblocks of Bryan, which is the case for other people on campus too.

After being denied a single and the apartments filling up in the blink of an eye, I had limited options when it came to housing. Perhaps it had something to do with the lottery system.

The system randomly assigned numbers to students: seniors and rising seniors had numbers 1-999, juniors had 1,000-1,999 and rising sophomores had 2,000-2,999, and based on your number you were designated a time to select housing.

The lottery is school bureaucracy at its finest. The system has little communication, is chaotic and has turned students into little more than numbers. Don’t you love being a number?

I was eagerly looking forward to living in an apartment, there seemed to be a decent amount of juniors in the apartments this year, and some just-junior groups, in fact. This is no longer the case.

I understand the Quaker values of the lottery system, but at the same time, I find problems with it.

The housing system used last year to apply for an apartment was based on combined credit hours of the entire group, rewarding the merits of those who went the extra mile in their education to rack up enough credits, unlike the lottery which just assigns at random.

Then there are those who did not sign up for the lottery, they are currently displaced until given a housing assignment. For the record, random roommate assignments can be terrible.

If you did sign up for the lottery, but didn’t have a roommate picked out, then there was no way you could pick a room. This rule puts students who may be shy in an unfair and awkward position, essentially punishing them for their personality.

How to remedy the problems of housing? Three ways: think of a better system, build more housing or cut admission rates of incoming first years. I never thought I’d have to face a housing crunch on a campus that prides itself on being a small community, but unfortunately I am.

There has to be a better way than assigning students a number, creating a free for all that leads to stress and panic. Meanwhile, students are left to feel sorry for themselves or their friends who have to settle. Think about it, we’re 19-, 20-, 21-year-olds, and we’re already settling for the best we can get.

Bureaucracy wins again.

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