Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Housing Glitch Causes Selection Shuffle

Georgetown’s Office of Student Housing mistakenly categorized several freshmen as juniors in university records, an error which, when corrected, caused several groups’ housing selection numbers to change for last Saturday’s apartment and suite selection for rising sophomores.

Nine freshmen in the School of Nursing and Health Studies were allotted three housing selection points, instead of the two normally designated for freshmen, because they are members of a two-year program in the NHS – in which the students fulfill NHS course requirements in two years and graduate in 2012 – according to an e-mail sent to freshmen by the Office of Student Housing on Friday. However, several students who have gotten the extra point have said that they are not in the two-year NHS program. The additional point gives those students an advantage at procuring a more desirable housing selection, particularly for an apartment or a university-owned townhouse.

Eight four-person groups received higher picks than normal due to the extra point, according to the e-mail. To correct the error, the housing office decided Friday not only to lower the picks of the eight groups but also to add eight more apartments and suites to the rising sophomores’ selection process – bringing the total to 88 – so that no one who expected to be able to select an apartment or suite would be shut out.

However, freshman Julia Chang (NHS ’12), one of the students who received an extra point, said that some freshmen who did not enter the apartment and suite selection, including herself, received an extra point as well.

Chang said that she and some of her friends informed the Office of Student Housing in September of the problem, but officials did not take action. Sarah Balistreri (COL ’12), who was rooming with one of the NHS students with extra housing points and moved from pick 12 to 21, also said that the housing office knew about this situation.

“I think [housing] could have prevented it. We called housing a few times before the housing raffle to tell them [my friend] was registered as a junior – so they knew about it,” she said.

Jerene Aldinger (NHS ’12), another student who received the bump in eligibility, said she informed her dean of the problem last semester.

While the Office of Student Housing said in an e-mail that the affected groups were moved down in the list, Aldinger said her group was actually moved up as a result of the shifting, moving from 17 to 14 in the selection order.

“So obviously I am pretty happy with the way things turned out,” Aldinger said. “I feel guilty, but I did my part to fix the misinformation a while ago. And then the housing department didn’t really seem concerned when my friend brought it up with them.”

The housing office’s e-mail acknowledged that not everyone would be satisfied with its decision.

“We recognize that this will not resolve everyone’s concerns but feel it is the most equitable option,” the e-mail said.

Affected students had mixed reactions on how the housing office conducted the situation.

“I think this was a pretty fair way of handling the situation,” Aldinger said. “It would have been devastating to have received an apartment number and then lose it. By adding the eight apartments, it was as if the entire NHS extra point business had never occurred, in the sense that our advantage was no one else’s disadvantage.”

Chang, however, was disappointed with the university’s response.

“Housing just handled it very poorly,” she said. “If anything, they should have done a whole new lottery.”

Several students who were not directly involved in the mix-up benefited from this situation.

“I was really happy because my number went up,” Leah Rappaport (COL ’12) said. “The whole situation was confusing. But they dealt with it in a matter that rectified the situation, while not really having an effect on me.”

Some other students felt that the situation could have been handled better by the housing office.

“I think they should have given apartments to those who had already been assigned them, but should have re-entered the [few] NHS students into the drawing and redistributed the remaining apartments among everyone left. That would have been fairer,” Ashley Bradford (COL ’12) said. “I think it could have been handled better.”

Karen Frank, vice president for facilities and student housing, was unavailable for comment.

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