Res Life breathes easier as housing wait list shrinks

By April DeJarlais

Macalester room draw. The drama. The tension. The questioning of why you were even born when that bad number appears in your SPO. This year the dust took a little longer to settle, as stress extended past room draw for the 25 rising juniors and seniors left on a wait list for on-campus housing. As of April 9 the wait list was down to 16 as Res Life worked to find students spaces on campus. It has been at least four years since Macalester has had a waiting list for housing. This year’s list resulted from the large class of 560 first years and slightly increased upperclassmen interest in on-campus housing.

“We are confident that there will be beds for all those on the waiting list,” Director of Campus Life Keith Edwards said.

Res Life initially worried about a wait list of up to 80 students, in which case the Summit House (across Snelling from Dupre Hall) would be used. Although the Summit House is currently being used to accommodate upperclassmen, it will likely revert back to office space for the college next year.

Numbers for the class of 2014 are not yet available, but Res Life monitors the amount of incoming first years in order to gauge if any room redistribution is needed.

Different solutions would have to be developed in the case of constant waiting lists in future years, Edwards said. A new residence hall may eventually be on Macalester’s construction plans, but not until the overflow of students gets too much to handle.

Each year Res Life faces the challenge of filling approximately each room on campus, since that is the “best use of [Macalester’s] resources,” Edwards said. “We can’t be under and we can’t be over.”

Although there are spaces available for every student who wants to live on campus next year, Edwards acknowledged that some situations would not be “ideal,” such as placing an unwilling male into a room with two females. Devry Lin ’12, who was on the waiting list as of April 9, objected to others determining his living situation.

“There are beds, but there is no connection,” Lin said.

Res Life is trying “to work with people instead of just placing them,” Edwards said. “We’re working as quickly as we can.