ResLife to open a late application for on-campus housing after students miss first deadline
The on-campus housing crisis at the university is progressing and potentially leaving upperclassmen displaced for the upcoming academic school year.
Freshmen are guaranteed housing, and in previous years upperclassmen have had two opportunities to apply for guaranteed housing: One in the fall and one in the spring. Spring applicants often were not able to self-select their rooms, but were still guaranteed a spot somewhere. This year on the other hand, the fall application was the only chance for upperclassmen to be guaranteed housing, and many missed the deadline.
However, Michele Kane, senior associate director for Assignments and Business Services, said that Residence Life and Housing (ResLife) is now planning to open a late application in mid-to-late April. This application will not guarantee housing, but will give students who missed the first deadline a chance if spots open up.
Kane said ResLife will take many factors into consideration when trying to place students who fill out the late application, including when the student submits their application, how far away the student lives when not in school and if there are other needs that cannot be met in an off-campus housing setting.
“Last year was the first time that we were not able to place people who were late, not guaranteed, and we informed them in late July that we were anticipating that we still could not house them,” Kane said.
One student who is currently at risk is Gavin Terziu, a junior psychology major, who has lived in Independence Hall for the last two years. He said he has always applied in February, but this year he missed the emails noting there were changes to this year’s system.
“I feel like they could have been clearer,” Terziu said. “It didn’t explicitly say that it wouldn’t at least be opening again in the spring, guaranteed or not.”
The first email sent by ResLife noting the changes was on Sept. 20 with the subject line “2020-21 On-Campus Housing Application Opening Soon!”
Halfway down the email it states “Current students can apply from October 1 to November 11, 2019 at 5pm for a guaranteed space on campus. Mark your calendar – this will be your only guaranteed application period for on-campus housing for next year!”
The second email was sent on Nov. 4, and the first line of the email states “Don’t forget to complete your housing application by 5 p.m. on November 11, 2019! This is the only chance for current students to apply and be guaranteed housing for the 2020-2021 academic year.”
Although ResLife explicitly stated that the fall application was the only opportunity to be guaranteed housing, it was never mentioned that upperclassmen would not be able to apply in the spring for a chance at getting a spot.
“We’re always open to hearing how we could make that clearer to students and how to differently share that,” Kane said. “It’s not to say that we always get it right in terms of how students will receive it but we put [the information] in as many places as we possibly can.”
After realizing his predicament, Terziu attempted to contact ResLife to sort it out. On Feb. 18, Hillary Kovac, assistant director for ResLife, told Terziu in an email, “At this time we are not scheduled to open an additional application.”
“Is there really nothing I can do?” Terziu responded in another email, to which Kovac suggested he look for a place off-campus.
Terziu lives an hour from campus in Joppa, Maryland, and he says he will have to commute next year if he does not get placed with a late application.
“A lot of us were still looking at off-campus options,” Terziu said. “It doesn’t make sense why we’re being asked to make a housing decision in the fall when a lot of off-campus options aren’t quite closed yet. It just seems backwards.”