As the end of the school year approaches, students are deciding not only what courses they plan to take in the upcoming year, but also where and with whom they will be living. Pacific has been using its Housing Lottery for over twenty years to help make the planning process for student housing as smooth as possible. Director of Housing, Lisa Geraci, is providing assistance for students in the housing lottery, and she said the process is still as effective as it was her first time helping, nineteen years ago.
Geraci and the Housing and Residence Life staff had been consecutively working 12-hour long days during the beginning of the lottery process, and said that there are still many students who have not had their appointment to choose their living arrangement. Because of this, Geraci said that time management is definitely one of the most difficult parts of the process. During the first appointment days last week, Geraci and housing specialist, Jean Flory, sat through 617 appointments, each lasting five minutes long.
Geraci said that in the future, though, appointments can always be made much simpler if students arrive at their appointment prepared. Many students had not been checking the lottery web page regularly, so they arrived at their appointment unaware of what rooms were already occupied. Because of this, many students were not only shocked when they found that their desired room was already taken, but they had no backup choice, making the decision process and the entire appointment last longer than the designated time slot. Geraci said that it is always helpful for students and their roommates to agree upon price range and a couple backup choices before they pick their room.
Students were expected to come to the Housing and Residence Life office with questions concerning the lottery, but Geraci said that the lottery webpage should be the first place students go to answer their questions. The webpage was designed with most of the common questions in mind, so students can understand the process and how to be prepared on their own. According to Geraci, much of the confusion associated with the lottery arises from “students not educating themselves. Pretty much every question that is asked can be found with an answer on the webpage.”
Geraci reported that housing capacity looks normal for next year, but the process is still far from over. Aside from the students who have already chosen their room and those who will have a late sign up appointment, there is still next year’s incoming freshmen and transfer students to consider. The housing process for new students does not begin until June and is dependent upon what rooms are available after returning students are taken care of. Still, Geraci says that it should not be an issue to find space for every student because new spaces are constantly opening up.
Students that were strongly hoping for a room other than what was available to them have an opportunity to put their name on a waitlist. If a spot opens up in the student’s first-choice room, their name may potentially be taken from the waitlist to fill that spot. Flory urged students to “give the waitlist a chance.” Not only can students still be put on the waitlist until May 18, but one opening can cause a shift in the entire list, opening up even more spaces.
Another piece of advice Flory gave is for students to take advantage of the first-pick process. Contrary to what some students may think, not all of the students who were awarded the first twenty room appointments were upperclassmen. Although the most popular spaces among the earlier choices were the 4 person single-bedroom apartments, there are different types of rooms available in each residence building on campus. To this, Geraci added that students should not feel pressured to strive for only the newer buildings because with the diversity of the rooms, “there is no such thing as a ‘freshmen dorm’.”
A couple new options for student housing this year were the Resident Directors’ apartments in Clark and Walter Hall. Geraci said these were made available to students because that next year, rather than having a staff of five resident directors, there will be two new positions of “Area Coordinator.” These staff members will be housed in Gilbert and Burlingham Hall and will each be in charge of overseeing more than one residence building.
Students should have peace of mind not only about finding a place to live next year, but also about Pacific’s past issues with bed bugs. Geraci said that no incidents have occurred recently, and to keep this record going, dogs are still being brought into the dorm halls monthly to sniff for traces of bed bugs.
Bed bugs are only one of the things that will be checked in the dorms after students are required to checkout of their rooms on May 18. A new checklist of what students should be aware of before leaving campus will soon be available on the Housing and Residence Life’s webpage.
Students who were unable to have their housing lottery appointment for any reason may still show up for a late appointment at the housing and residence life office on either May 10 or May 17. Appointments will be held on a first-come, first-served basis from 3 pm to 7 pm for students who are able to bring both their proper lottery application and $100 deposit.