Housing renewal process changed

Shawntaye Hopkins

It’s no longer first come, first served.

Students who begin signing up for housing on Monday will reap the benefits — or disappointments — depending on seniority.

Housing and Residence Life changed its renewal plans last spring, and included a move to online housing registration.

Students living on campus for the longest number of consecutive years have priority in housing assignments under the new plan.

All students who currently live on campus, including graduating seniors, were assigned a housing priority number. The numbers are based on the date they turned in their original housing application. There are about 4,320 numbers.

Kit Tolbert, director of housing operations, warned that the deadline is critical. Every student planning to live on campus must apply on Topnet between March 3 and March 14 or they will be placed after all the incoming freshman.

Students wanting to stay in their current location are not affected by the numbering. They only need to renew to their current location to keep it.

After housing assignments are made in April, Tolbert said there will still be room for adjustments especially after cancellations.

Tolbert said the department decided to make changes after renewal incidents over the past few years. She said she did not like students camping out as they have in the past when renewal was first come, first served.

She said with more dorms being renovated, many of them are at a high demand.

Tolbert said since many of the students with numbers may not return to the dorms, students may be higher on the priority list than they realize.

She said last year 2,500 of the 4,300 people living on campus renewed.

Cadiz freshman Beverly Martin, whose number is 2,879, agreed students who have been here longer deserve to have priority.

“Its easier on the administration and the students don’t really have to worry about it,” Martin said.

Radcliff senior Leah Maphis agreed.

Maphis said she remembered standing with her roommate in the cold outside of Potter Hall at 2 a.m. last year trying to get a room in Zacharias Hall.

Maphis, a transfer student, is number 1,553.

“I feel like its better,” Maphis said. “It gives people who have lived here the longest first priority in where they want to live.”

Tolbert said there is room to fix kinks in the system. HRL will examine how the renewal process went this year, and tweak it if need be.

“Time will tell,” Tolbert said. “We’re going to evaluate it and see how it goes.”

Reach Shawntaye Hopkins at [email protected]