April 2, 2008

Housing Lottery Leaves Many Students Disappointed

Print More

Many students said they are not pleased with the housing lottery after they failed to get into the dorms they desired.
Over 3,000 students had signed up by the by Feb. 17 registration deadline. Although only 2,500 students have been assigned housing for next year, the difference can be accounted for by students who dropped out due to other housing arrangements.
Many of those students originally signed up because they were unsure if they would be living in their sorority or fraternity next year.
Currently, the University is working to process student surveys and housing data, said Carlos Gonzalez, director of contracts for campus life housing.
While no students were denied housing, many complained that they were assigned housing in dorms and program houses that they did not desire.
The housing lottery is designed so that older students can sign up first, beginning with rising seniors on March 3 and ended with rising sophomores on March 5. [img_assist|nid=29404|title=Home sweet home|desc=Two students walk through Alice H. Cook House on West Campus. The dormitory’s occupancy filled up quickly during the housing lottery, which began on March 3.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
This poses a problem for rising sophomores because of the limited options left after rising juniors and seniors have made their picks.
The housing website states that Cornell housing aims to create “an exceptional living and learning environment for students” and “a sense of personal connection to Cornell as part of our commitment to the University’s emphasis on service.”
However, many students feel that their preferences were not accommodated, most notably current freshmen.
Olivier St-Louis ’11 wanted to live on West Campus, but was not surprised when that he could not get one. By the time his housing time slot came around, he found that his housing options were limited and his only two choices were the Latino Living Center and the Just About Music dorm. Given his options, St-Louis picked JAM.
“I am very displeased with the housing process,” St-Louis said. “I was not close-minded for what housing I considered, but JAM was just not even on my list. I will have to make the best of this situation next year even though I do not want to live there and, hopefully, being a sophomore next year will make this process easier.”
Some freshmen have avoided taking part in the housing lottery by signing up to live in their fraternity or sorority next year. These housing options are often less expensive than the price of a single in a campus dorm, which costs $7,860.
All dormitory the rates are the same throughout campus. Triples cost $6,390 for and doubles cost $6,950.
The rate to live in fraternities is in a similar price range as the cost of doubles and triples, costing between about $6,000 to $6,500 for the year, according to fraternity members.
Phillip Feliciano ’11, who is currently pledging a fraternity said, “One of the attractive aspects of being in a fraternity next year was the lower cost of living. It winds up being a few hundred less than dormitory housing after the fraternity fees are added up.”
The online housing lottery was started last year in an effort to streamline the process. Before, students were required to wait on line at RPCC.