Editorial: The housing fiasco

The Department of Residential Colleges and the university’s administration have put many students in a needlessly stressful situation.

Though only a few years ago keeping the same dorm room two years in a row was an option, this year a lottery has been instituted to determine which students will be able to live on campus next semester.

Although Pat Whitely, vice president for student affairs, claims that a second round of housing sign up will take care of most of the waiting list, making students wait for over a month before they know for sure if they will have housing is ridiculous.

Finding an affordable apartment off campus and roommates to share it with can take a lot of time and effort, something not a lot of students have at the end of the semester.

What is most disappointing about the lottery system situation is the lack of understanding the administration seems to have. Whitely compared the UM lottery to Boston College where students are told up front that they will not be able to live on campus their junior year.

Here at UM students were notified of this drastic change to a policy that affects the entire campus in January.
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Gilberto Arias claimed that the lottery system at UM was comparable to the housing processes at University of Florida and Florida State University.

What Arias failed to address is that UF and FSU are state universities located in towns that revolve primarily around college life. Not to mention the fact that  UF has 45,000 undergraduates and FSU has 29,500, while UM has UM has 9,800, and only 4,450 live on campus, according to university Web sites.

UM is different, it is a small university located in a major metropolitan area where housing is often expensive and public transportation is laughable at best.

Whitley, Arias and other administrators responsible for the lottery system needed to take into consideration the unique needs of UM students. Some pay for their housing with scholarships or loans that aren’t applicable when dealing with a landlord. Other students who are studying abroad and only need housing for one semester may not be eligible to sign a lease.

The housing situation has been handled in a way that is causing many undergrads undue stress at a time when they should be focusing on midterms. Keeping 422 students hanging is unfair and unkind.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial staff.