The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Housing shortage looms after room draw

By David Hertz

Dozens of students who applied for on-campus housing have nowhere to live next year thanks to the large freshman class and an increase in room draw requests.A week after rising juniors and seniors went through room draw, 30 students were still on wait lists for dorm rooms Res. Life Operation Manager Kathy McEathron said. Six students previously on the wait list have been offered housing so far. It is not clear how soon students will find out whether they will be able to live on campus.

“It could go all the way to the week before classes start,” McEathron said. “We’ll go through whatever is available, offer it to students, and then we’ll wait and see.”

To accommodate the unusually large freshman class, Residential Life set aside nine spots in GDD and 43 in Kirk for rising sophomores. Before room draw, McEathron estimated that the college still should have been able to house all rising juniors and seniors. However, a slight increase in upperclassmen requests for on-campus housing this year created a significant shortage.

David Tomporowski ’12, was planning to get a double in Kirk next year. He assumed his number was good enough to get one until he showed up to room draw last Thursday and saw sections of the Kirk Hall already reserved for rising sophomores.

“I guess I never really thought about it,” Tomporowski said. “I never thought it would come down to the possibility of Res. Life having to tell people that wanted to live on campus that they cannot, and that they have to go live off campus.”

Tomporowski, like many other students, did not realize that Macalester is not contractually obligated to house rising juniors and seniors, even if they requested room draw numbers. He is currently on the waiting list, and said not knowing whether he will have to live off-campus is very frustrating.

For the last several years, Macalester has had a surplus of rooms. Through advertising campaigns and the homesteading program, Res. Life has tried to encourage upperclassmen to stay on campus.

McEathron said she had been advising students to try to live on campus if they were interested, regardless of their room draw number. In retrospect, she said, she wished she could have warned students about the shortage, but argued that no one could have predicted it.

“In light of the way things have been, it didn’t seem to be a factor. because last year, there were so many vacancies after room draw. We wouldn’t want to alarm students unduly,” McEathron said. “Right now when I look back, I probably wouldn’t have given that advice, but I don’t know how I would have known [the shortage] would have happened.”

McEathron expects that the number of students on the wait list will gradually dwindle. Some students who requested rooms on campus but made arrangements to live off-campus will cancel their contracts. Some students will take a leave of absence. Others who are waiting for rooms will find places to live off-campus and drop off the list.

McEathron said it is hard to say what will happen to the students still on the waiting list at the beginning of fall semester. Ultimately, a few students may be told they are out of luck.

McEathron advised students still on the wait lists to be patient and consider all their housing options. The more options a student is willing to take, the more likely they are to find housing.

“If you want a single only in a certain section of Kirk Hall, you’re likely to be disappointed,” she said.

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