Change Hits the Housing Lottery
The Fairfield housing system may be looking up for the future. Charlie Sousa, associate director of Residence Life, answered a few of the questions that seem to surface every year during the housing lottery process.
The first area of concern in the minds of students is the new residence halls on campus. Construction began around campus last year, with projects taking place in the Dolan residence hall area, the Quad, and the Village.
According to Sousa the construction will be completed by July of this year, allowing students to live in 51 McInnes, Dolan Hall, and 70 McCormick starting next semester.
The addition of these three residence halls, along with the renovated Jesuit Residence, or 42 Bellarmine as it is known by now, will significantly reduce the number of freshmen in triples. Sousa said that with the creation of these new residence halls that Fairfield hopes to eliminate all triple rooming for first year students.
Despite the construction of the new residence halls, some students still look to the existing residence halls as their first choice for housing. One student, freshman Moe Osmulski said, “I don’t really want to live in the new dorms. I want to live in a suite where I can have my own bathroom. The suites are definitely a first choice for housing for me and most of my friends.”
The new residence hall buildings that are beginning to take shape around campus also raise other questions in the minds of Fairfield students. Many students are concerned that these new construction initiatives are the University’s way of phasing out “The Beach,” for Fairfield seniors.
Living off campus at the beach has been a tradition for most of the senior class for quite some time. With the new residence halls becoming available on campus, many students think the University will slowly begin releasing less and less people to live off campus.
According to Sousa, Fairfield does not plan to phase out beach living any time soon. He said, “The beach has been a part of the University since it opened and will continue to be a part of the University in the future.”
Sousa continued to say that for rising seniors, about 50% of the class will be released from campus, which is a consistent statistic when compared to previous years.
Besides choosing roommates or housemates, arguably the most important part of housing is the lottery process. Many students have complained about the housing lottery process in the past. For example, Samantha Ceglia ’11 said, “I always thought the housing lottery process was pretty flawed. For the amount of money that people pay to go here, they should get to live where they want. I didn’t get the housing I wanted first semester of my junior year, but thankfully I got let off campus my senior year.”
To try and quell some of these students’ concerns with the housing lottery process, some changes are going to be made. Sousa said, for the Off-Campus lottery, the only thing that has changed is the date. Students will be in the lottery and notified of being let off from October to February.
Sousa also explained that there would be changes to the lottery process for on-campus students as well. He said, “The rising junior and senior lottery has changed slightly, where students can apply in groups of four, six, or eight and be noncommittal to where they are living until pick night. This change was implemented to allow for more flexibility in the lottery while making it a bit more fair.
For example, in the previous lottery if you applied as a group of four for the Townhouses and there were none available, you would have to wait until all groups of four that signed up for apartment style housing selected first. Then the townhouse group of four would be able to select an apartment.
In the new system if this were to happen it would allow the group of four to simply select another style of housing while keeping lottery number order. As for rising sophomores, if they choose not to live in a residential college they will still have the option to live in a traditional hall or a suite.”
It is not secret that many students have shared frustration over the housing process at Fairfield. However, with the completion of the new construction on campus approaching and the implementation of the changes to the housing lottery process, perhaps the University can begin to make the steps in the right direction to end the anger that surrounds the housing process.