By Ellen McDevitt-Stredney
Special to The Denisonian
Spring brings flowers sprouting, rain and green trees, but that’s not all. For many students, it also brings the high stress, pure panic and a Hunger Games atmosphere in the housing lottery.
The housing lottery is a complicated process that involves hard work on the end of the Denison Residential Life staff but also collaborating efforts of the students.
This year many changes have been made to the housing designs and housing process in general.
The layout of Shepardson Hall, which is currently composed of all four person suites and six-person suites, has been changed for the upcoming academic year. Next year, six-mans will be converted to “Multiple Occupancy Rooms.” In other words, they will be nine-person suites.
The rooms will be composed of three doubles and a triple made of the former six-person common room. According to Kristan Hausman, Director Residential Education and Housing and Assistant Dean of Students, the central entrance door of the suite will be removed and each occupant will receive a key to the “semi-private” bathroom.
Although the nine occupants are responsible for maintaining and up-keeping the bathroom, Hausman noted that Denison cleaning services will come through for cleaning services every 3-6 weeks. These rooms are treated as traditional doubles and triples, they are selected individually – not by a group of nine.
This will add a total of 18 doubles and 6 triples to the building. The change is made to allow for more students to live in Shepardson Hall, without living in a suite, and still be among their peers.
Hausman explained this change is meant to create “more bed space, and this is the easiest way to do it.” She referenced previous years where many upperclassmen felt that they would like to live in suites, but they can’t afford the higher cost. Because of this, housing gave these students a way to live in a suite-like atmosphere without bearing the cost of it.
In speaking with rising juniors, many are not for the change. Cheyanne Cierpial, a rising junior from Clark, New Jersey, said she “understands the need to accommodate as many people as possible; however six-mans are something you look forward to as a sophomore/junior privilege–the privacy of having your own bathroom and living with 5 of your friends.”
Similar sentiments were also felt by the rising senior class, who felt the full effect of 200 members of their class not being housed in apartments. Emily Lipsitz, a rising senior from North Kingston Rhode Island, felt grateful to be housed, but made the point that “we pay way too much to go here, are promised for three years they will live in an apartment and senior year find out it’s not true.” Feeling restricted by Denison’s four-year living on campus policy, the rising seniors who were towards the end of the lottery on Saturday felt out of options completely.
Denison Residential Life advises all students, but especially those with higher lottery numbers, to have a plan B and a plan C. Students with higher lottery numbers should especially be prepared to find additional people if suites are available. As with the case of the rising seniors, many set their B plans as breaking up their group and aiming for doubles, or rearranging for groups of five.
Hausman also warned that rising sophomores should be prepared that not all of their class will be housed at the end of their lottery day. However, the housing department will stay and work very closely with those students to ensure they will be housed in the coming fall.
Underclassmen new to the experience might be feeling very overwhelmed with the approaching date, so first and foremost: relax. Everyone gets housed eventually. Some things to remember: bring your Denison ID to the lottery, the lottery takes place in the Roost (the third floor of Slayter), and you and your roommates meet on the second floor in front of the steps.
Once your class is herded into this corral, the Residential Assistants are there to direct you, answer questions and calm down anyone if needed. On the third floor, maps of buildings are provided and arrows will point you in the right directions.
In addition, Hung Tran, Vice President of DCGA and Chair of Committee on Residential Life, and other Residential Assistants will be hosting an informative meeting for rising sophomores on April 3 in the Curtis West Lounge at 8:00pm. The Res Life committee will be there to answer questions and prepare freshmen for their lottery. Rising sophomore and junior lottery is Saturday April 5. Rising juniors (males and females) with lottery numbers from 1-100 begins at 9:00am while numbers 101-end begins at 10:30am. All rising sophomore males should arrive at 1:30pm and then the female sophomore lottery will begin at 3:30pm.
So underclassmen beginning their first Denison Housing Lottery process, remember to remain calm. Stick with your roommates in the arena; be open to collaborating with other districts, and whether the odds are in your favor or not, Res life will not leave you on the streets.
You can follow @DenisonRedEd for live lottery updates. The twitter feed will also be projected to students waiting below to enter the lottery center so they can know what is available.
Corrections have been made from the print version.
Photo Courtesy Allie Vurgrunic