By Taylor Powell
Frustration and annoyance lie within the hallways of Schwitzer and Ross Halls.
Thirty sophomores currently live in Ross Hall, according to Residence Life Coordinator, Laura Rychalsky. Additionally, almost a full unit and a half of sophomores reside in Schwitzer.
Meanwhile, 39 first-years live in Residential College, according to Jeff Tyner, ResCo’s residence life coordinator. These are 39 spots that could have been filled by sophomores, who have already paid their dues in freshman housing.
For most students feeling frustration toward housing, this is all they know.
What students may not know is that the Butler housing system is not only fair, but systematic and efficient.
Each February returning students receive an email from residence life, notifying students that they must fill out housing contracts before spring break.
The students who submit the contract on time, are assigned a randomly chosen lottery number. Based on that number, students report to the Reilly Room, in order, to physically choose which room they would like to live the following year.
This in-person process allows students to have any questions answered by the Residence Life office.
Select systems of housing entail an online lottery. Students have a specific time to log onto the housing website, look at blueprint of a dorm and quickly choose a room before someone else does.
When housing assignments are announced in late July, students often email the housing department to counter their assignment. I admit I was one of those students.
But the lottery system is completely random.
“Ultimately in the end, someone is going to get something that is not their first choice,” said Levester Johnson, vice president for student affairs.
Howell said due to its smaller size, Residence Life is able to address student concerns in a more personable way.
“We try to give as much attention as we can to any concern that is raised,” said Karla Cunningham, director of residence life.
The 39 first-years in ResCo,are not there by accident.
Many of the freshmen living in the unit require air-conditioning or elevators due to medical circumstances, Howell said.
“It’s the best that we can do for those students that have that medical need,” Howell said.
In Schwitzer, there is a lot unrest regarding housing assignments in the newly renovated basement.
“The basement should be for upperclassmen,” sophomore Abigail Prichard said. “If they are going to make upperclassmen live in a freshman dorm, upperclassmen should have the nicest part of it.”
The basement also has many triple and quadruple rooms. Putting all sophomores in the basement, though perhaps nicer than the upper levels, would force students to have more than one roommate, which may not always be desired.
Butler’s housing department goes about room assignments in the most efficient and fair way possible. They also have upperclassmen comfort in mind.
Butler guarantees on-campus housing, which not all universities are able to do.
However, there is no denying the vastly growing undergraduate population at Butler.
For that reason, the Commission for Undergraduate Residential Life of 2015 will benefit all students, and particularly please those looking for new housing.
Recommendations for the commission will be made to the board of trustees to improve Butler’s inventory for housing, Johnson said.
Later this year, Butler will likely announce any plans of these new additions to campus, according to Johnson.
In the meantime, students should appreciate the housing system here at Butler.