Students left with second choice

With the change in lottery number distribution for university housing this year, the residence life department is working to place students who did not get their first choices for next year’s housing.

This year, lottery numbers were distributed randomly as opposed to years past, when lottery numbers were based on student credit hours.

Karla Cunningham, director of residence life, said everyone has a bed and a place to live next year.

“We’re managing the lists of students who want to be placed in different housing than they had on selection night,” Cunningham said. “We will work from now until opening to match students with their first preference as openings happen.”

Cunningham said openings occur often but are also unpredictable.

Openings can occur if students end up studying abroad, moving into Greek housing or not returning to Butler the following fall.

As the numbers currently stand, 48 rising sophomores are projected to live in Ross Hall again next year, and 53 rising sophomores are projected to live in Schwitzer Hall next year.

No juniors were placed in Residential College.

Doug Howell, associate director of residence life, said in an email that the numbers as they stand now are as high as they will get, as residence life will be constantly working to move sophomores out of the freshman residence halls.

“Last year at this time, we did have a number of sophomores assigned to Ross and Schwitzer going into the summer,” Howell said.  “However, by the time we opened in August, we had zero sophomores living there.”

Howell said that was the first time that residence life, within 20 years of personal experience, knew of a time when there were not some sophomores living in Ross or Schwitzer.

While this year’s zero was a fluke, Howell said, the number is usually small, with somewhere around 10 to 15 sophomores living in each freshman residence hall.

Sophomores generally live in the Residential College or the Christian Theological Seminary.

Freshman Jared Shindler is currently projected to live in Ross Hall for his sophomore year.

“It wasn’t my first choice, but as long as I can still go to Butler, I’ll be fine,” Shindler said. “If I do have the chance to move, I’ll most likely take it.”

Cunningham said the residence life department will cluster the sophomores together in a unit so they won’t be scattered throughout the building.

She said the unit’s resident assistant will be aware that residents are sophomores so programming and events for them can be planned accordingly.

Some students, such as sophomore Catherine Skoog and her roommates, did not get their first choice of living in Apartment Village for next year.

“We wanted to live there because of its closeness to the Pharmacy Building because we’re all pharmacy majors and at times can have late classes and labs,” Skoog said.  “We did not want to be walking back so far in the dark after classes.”

Skoog said they ended up signing for an apartment in the Christian Theological Seminary, but it seemed to her that both that location and AV filled up quickly.

Current juniors have the option to stay in their on-campus apartments if they wish to for their senior year.

“I think it would have been a good year to allow some of the juniors to live off campus if they would have liked to,” Skoog said.

The university has a rule that students have to live on campus for at least three years unless they have commuter status and live at home.

As the largest freshman class moves through the progressive housing, Cunningham said changing that rule would be a bigger discussion for more than just the residence life department.

With that considered, she said she doesn’t see any change for it at this point.

“I think there are benefits for the three-year residency requirement,” Cunningham said. “Students who live on campus are more involved, can access services and might have stronger relationships with their peers who they live with.   This helps them to be more engaged on campus and (with) their academic programs because they are able to access those services more conveniently.”

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