my school has only two [well, two and a half] housing complexes. one is reserved for freshmen. historically, the half has also been reserved for freshmen. however, this year my school announced that the half [i call it 'half' a complex because it's about one block of city rowhouses that the school bought - each has three apartments in it] will be open to any student who wants to live there next semester. sweet, until you remember that most of the rooms are double-occupancy. which leaves the only other complex on campus, the former women's hospital (which is now approximately 100 single-occupancy multiple-bedroom apartments) for any of the remaining rising sophomores (myself included) who want to live on campus next year. there are about 300 of us - you start to see our dilemma. i swear this is all relevant.
because there are more students than rooms, every year the college holds a housing lottery. you find a roommate, fill out an application, and then you get a number and a pick-order and you pick out what room you want. sounds simple - but if it were so cut-and-dry, i wouldn't be posting here, would i?
about a month before the scheduled date of the lottery, reslife made applications available online, with detailed instructions about what would happen and when. my roommate and i filled out an application for one of the two-bedroom apartments. on our application, we had to list our top five choices for rooms. floorplans were supplied, and based on these we picked our choices. one was on the second floor. in the event that a choice had been either reserved by the people in the room already this year, we'd just pick another room off our list and hope that they weren't all gone. we were thrilled to find out that we were picking seventh overall (out of about 60 groups), and 3rd of the other two-bedroom apartments. the night after we found out our pick-order, i went to the lottery to tell reslife what room we wanted, thinking "yess we're pretty much guaranteed to get our first pick room!"
we [my boyfriend and i] get to the place where we'll tell reslife what room we want, and it's bedlam. utter chaos. apparently, the school had run out of three bedroom apartments - with about 7 three-bedroom groups left out in the cold. the three-bedroom groups were told that they could choose from any extra two-bedroom apartments after the two-bedroom groups had picked - but looking at the list of still-available rooms, you could tell that it would be a close shave to even squeeze all the two-bedroom groups in. then came the bombshell, and perhaps the explanation for why so many people hadn't gotten rooms.
nowhere - and i mean nowhere; i'm the one in my group who scoured all the paperwork (and handed it to my roommate, to whom i explained everything and told her where to sign) - did it say this until we walked into that room, but the entire second floor of the housing complex had been reserved for incoming freshmen. their justification for this was because the rowhouses had been opened for anyone, they needed a place to put all the freshmen. now, this wouldn't have been such a big deal; it's a perfectly legitimate reason to reserve the second floor. my beef is that they didn't say a word until we walked into that room to tell them which room we wanted.
so here am i, number three to pick in the two-bedroom group. my top choice room has been reserved by the people living there this year. okay, i was prepared for that to be a possibility. my second choice room has also been reserved. no big deal, i still have three spots left.
...except for one of them is on the second floor, which i find out is taboo about five minutes before i'm supposed to pick a room. i have two "official" choices left, and i'm the third to pick. to make a long story short, i wind up choosing a room with a very similar floorplan to one on my list. i am one of the lucky ones. of my circle of approximately 25 friends, 14 were left without a room after the lottery.
so to reslife at my school: thanks for temporarily adding about 100% extra stress to my life, just slathering it on over top of scheduling nightmares (my advisor didn't show up for my appointment! wtf?!), class horrors (let's not even talk about the teacher who implied based on one of my works that i'm a racist), and general roommate issues (shouting into your phone at three in the morning is NOT COOL). next time, dear reslife, please consider rethinking your ENTIRE lottery process.
no love from your dearest friend,