‘Priority’ students still ‘guaranteed housing,’ sophomores can squat in West, Eickhoff

Although yesterday’s listing of the first lottery cutoff let some students know whether they can live on campus next year, confusion over the housing process still lingers.

A common question is why the coveted privilege of guaranteed housing was changed to priority housing this year, and whether the name change means students with priority housing are still guaranteed a bed on campus.

This year, 347 rising seniors received priority housing as part of a compensation package the College offered to those originally signed up to live in the Metzger Apartments this year, according to Mollie Seiferas, Student Government Association (SGA) vice president of student services.

Students in some organizations, as well as those with jobs in Residence Life and all rising sophomores, also received the priority housing advantage.

Seiferas said there is no difference between priority housing and the former term, guaranteed housing. She said the name change was made because some students felt that with “guaranteed” housing, they did not have to fill out any paperwork to live on campus.

The change was made in an effort to clarify the misconception so that all students, whether guaranteed placement on campus or not, undergo the same housing process.

Seiferas said students who have priority housing have automatically been included in the first lottery cut-off, just as students with guaranteed housing were in the past.

Another question is whether rising juniors currently living in Townhouses West and Eickhoff Hall will be allowed to “squat,” or keep their rooms if they make the first or second cut-off.

West and Eickhoff, which are residence halls that housed sophomores this year, will be offered only to juniors and seniors next year.

West is currently home to 132 sophomores, while Eickhoff is almost completely filled with sophomores.

According to Seiferas, rising juniors in Eickhoff Hall and West will be allowed to squat, as will rising seniors in Eickhoff, all Townhouses, the Transfer Houses and Country Club Apartments.

“(Sophomores) are the smallest cohort in West, 132 and hopefully 70 percent of people that apply for housing will get housing, including priority housing,” Seiferas said.

However, not all 132 sophomores currently living in West are eligible to squat, as squatting sophomores cannot be on probation, their floor must remain the same gender, and they must not be living in a house that will be switched to wellness housing.

Lauren Roccia, sophomore communication studies major, lives in West and hopes to squat in her room. “It all depends on me first getting a number and second finding out whether or not where I’m living is going to be wellness housing next year. No one seems to really know,” she said.

Seiferas said she is unaware which townhouses will become wellness housing.