By Morgan Fretwell, Staff Writer
The warm spring weather has come alongside changes to the always-heated process of the housing lottery.
The housing lottery is a process for allowing current residential students to choose where they will live on campus next year. Ron Thompson and the housing faculty have worked to root the process in fairness, giving preference first to seniors, then juniors and so on.
“Every student is on the same plane within their class,” Thompson said.
In the best interest of students, this process has been pushed towards the beginning of second semester and further away from final exams. Just two years ago, the process ended only two days before exams began. The housing staff has been able to push the end date of the lottery forward an entire month to allow students to focus on studying for exams instead of on the housing lottery. To further simplify the process, the original 18 lottery windows have been reduced to just seven.
“In addition to combining several lottery windows, we have also added an opportunity for rising seniors, who are not a part of a foursome, to participate in a lottery window specifically for individuals to live in a private bedroom apartment with other individuals,” Thompson said.
Though this process has been remodeled many times to achieve greater efficiency, a new housing assignments software product is in the works for implementation at Furman. Curtis Nash, the new Assistant Director of Administration, is leading the purchase and implementation of this product that will streamline the process even further.
Despite the constant attention to ensure fairness and simplicity in the lottery, the process is still infamous for the stress it brings. Whether it is the fault of the lottery or bad planning with future roommates, not every student can get exactly what he or she wants.
“It’s hard to manage this process knowing that some people will get exactly what they want, while others will not get anything they want,” Thompson said. “Throughout the summer, we are typically able to satisfy nearly all students on the waiting list.”
The housing staff encourages each student to go into this process with multiple plans, should his or her ideal living arrangement not develop. Whether you get exactly what you planned for, or end up in the last place you had hoped to live, Thompson says to take solace in the fact that above all else, the process is designed around fairness.
“We don’t give anyone a leg-up through this process,” Thompson said. “And as a result, despite the challenges some students experience, there are no inequities inherent in the process.”