Students express mixed views on campus housing lottery system

By on March 6, 2003

With the spring semester reaching its midway point, many students have started looking to secure on-campus housing for next year.

On-campus housing will once again be determined by a lottery system; information booklets will be distributed this week.

In order to be included in the housing lottery process, students have to have paid their housing deposits, which were due on Feb. 21.

The second step in the lottery process is finding a group to live with. Students may live in groups of three for Dana English Hall, six for the Complex, seven and ten for the Hill and Village, and eight for the sophomore suites and Mountainview.

Students should not worry if they do not have their groups finalized yet, according to Derek Zuckerman, assistant director of Residential Life.

“You’re going to love your roommates, hate your roommates and love them again,” he said. “Don’t get frustrated if you aren’t committed to a group; things will work out.”

Zuckerman also encouraged students to visit Residential Life and look at the book that lists single students looking for groups, along with groups looking for single students. It is then up to the students and groups to get in contact with each other.

Once groups are finalized, each group will receive a numerical value based upon when each member of the group began attending Quinnipiac. Students starting in the fall of 2001 or the spring of 2002 will receive two “points,” while students starting in the fall of 2002 or the spring of 2003 will be awarded one point.

Each student’s numerical value will be added together to form a total for the group, which is computed by Residential Life.

“We first find the numerical start date,” Zuckerman said. “We try to make it fair by using the numerical start date.”

Start-date two groups, and groups with both start-date one students and start-date two students, are required to register online from March 27 until March 31. While it is important to register, Zuckerman warns students not to overload the system on the first day.

“It does not matter when you submit a group within those four days,” he said. “This is not Ticketmaster where you have to be on the system right away. You have four days.”

By 1 p.m. on April 1, all lottery numbers for mixed groups and groups of two will be posted on the Quinnipiac website. Groups then choose which rooms they live in beginning on April 2 at 1 p.m.

Groups containing only students with start-date one register between April 4 and April 8. Their lottery numbers will be available on April 9.

These groups should be aware of what is available to them, because if groups receive a lower number there may not be enough space for them to live with their original group. In this case, they will be given until April 16 to re-group to better accommodate the available space. This usually requires students to break into groups of three.

According to Zuckerman, students who do not get their first choice should not panic.

“We will work with them individually to make sure they get a space,” he said. “This process is set up to be fair while also recognizing seniority.”

While Residential Life feels the process is fair, it has received mixed reviews from students.

Sophomore Andrew Chin, who is living in the Complex this year, feels the housing lottery adds drama and excitement to the process of finding a place to live.

“The school lottery is about as crazy as any professional sports lottery draft,” Chin said. “Some win or some lose the day of. Others have to wait and see how their situation develops. It’s just all part of college drama.”

Junior Alyson Vitti, who will be forced to live off-campus next year because she will be a senior, is satisfied with the way the school handles the process.

“For what they [the school] have to work with, I think they did the best they could,” Vitti said. “Overall I think the process is fair.”

While Chin and Vitti are pleased with the procedure overall, other students feel the whole process is unfair and needs to be changed.

“The problem with the lottery is that one year you could get a bad pick then the following year you can also get a bad pick,” said sophomore Chris Strasser. “The school should let kids that get bad lottery picks their sophomore year be higher up on the lottery for there junior year.”

Sophomore Rachael Slaiciunas, who received a low lottery number last year, agreed with Strasser and offered a solution.

“I think it is unfair that we, the students, all pay the same amount of money to live on campus, yet cannot live where we want,” said Slaiciunas. “I think the people that ended up in the last half of the lottery should be put into the first half next year.”

Sophomore Ashley Nantoski can understand student’s frustration with the process, but think this is the only fair way to figure out housing.

“I think the school lottery is the only fair way to go about the housing issue, however, it can be very frustrating,” she said. “Last year my roommates and I were the last number picked, so we ended up with very few choices to pick from, but that’s just the way it goes.”

Sophomore Anne Mitchell, who is a transfer student, said she has an issue with the fact that students’ numerical value is determined by their start date at the university, instead of their amount of credits.

“It is my understanding that transfer students don’t get as many points as students that are in the same year but didn’t transfer,” she said. “Overall though, I think that the process is an adequate way to ‘try’ for the place that you want to live.”

Students are encouraged to speak with the Residential Life Office Staff by calling x8666 or by emailing the office at


About Tyler Tessier