Photo by Stephanie Mason.
Jeffrey Pierre/Assistant News Director
Prospective housing students found themselves either on the good or bad side of the Office of Housing and Residential Life on Feb. 12 when they received the results of the housing lottery.
The office established a lottery-style process in an attempt to eliminate partiality of the previous system that leaned towards returning upperclass students.
“It’s very similar to last year’s process but what we’ve done is made it a lottery process because we have more demand than supply,” said Housing Director Joe Paulick. “One of the things most important is that it’s going to give everyone an equal chance to apply.”
Paulick said the office’s main objective was to ensure that incoming freshmen and returning sophomores do not feel confined to the dorms left over after upperclassmen receive their preferred arrangements.
With the change, the University’s housing process becomes similar to that of other state universities such as the University of Central Florida and the University of Florida, which provide students with an equal opportunity.
The new process and results of the lottery were received with mixed feelings.
Ben Sabbath, a junior majoring in health and fitness, received the email welcoming him to start selecting his housing arrangements for next year. His sentiment was more understanding than most of his peers.
“I can pick and I’m not on the waiting list like a lot of people are,” Sabbath said. “I think its fair simply because it gives first year students an equal chance. I know statistics show that every year 33 percent of students drop out, so I’m not worried.”
Deshawn Willingham, freshman hospitality major, was lucky to find housing for next year but still felt a lack of consideration from the school.
“I was selected,” he said. “But I know several people who weren’t selected at the same time. What are they supposed to do?”
Displaced students now face the option of enduring probability that comes with the waiting list or move off-campus. Students who were housed at Biscayne Bay Campus, were exempted from the housing lottery, however. The University will also pay their bus fare to and from Modesto A. Maidique Campus and BBC until new housing is available at the north campus.
The list should keep students optimistic with hopes that lottery winners will release their room reservations. Paulick said there are about 300 cancellations each year. The Office of Housing and Residential Life will close the waitlist in August and with it, the hopes of housing prospects.