College housing shortage leads to additional trailers
By Jamie Welch, Staff Writer
It is spring, and that means Gettysburg College students are participating in a competitive process that many have dubbed Hunger Games: Housing Lottery Edition. With lower and lower participation in Greek Life every year and next year’s First Year class predicted to be bigger than ever, the housing lottery has proven to be especially terrible this year.
Current sophomores and juniors have already selected housing for next year, but many of them are not satisfied. For example, one sophomore told The Gettysburgian, “I got stuck with Paxton next year. PAXTON. Can you believe it?”
The student wanted an apartment in Apple but found that all of them w e r e quickly filled up by students with higher lottery numbers, leaving nothing left for his group to select. “When I opened up the housing selection system and saw there was nothing left, we laughed, and then we cried. We mostly cried,” the student said.
Current First Years are in even more dire straits, as the number of rooms left on campus continues to dwindle and the size of the incoming First Year class continues to grow. With the Class of 2019 predicted to be the biggest First Year class ever, more members of the Class of 2019 than ever will have to be housed in Musselman.
With many rooms in Musselman spoken for by next year’s freshman class, and other rooms on campus all but sucked up by upperclassmen, that begs the question: where are the rising sophomores going to live?
“It’s a problem,” a member of the Office of Residential and First Year Programs staff said, “We don’t know where to put all these people next year.” Will this mean the return of the much loathed trailers to house the overflow of students? “I don’t want to speculate on whether or not rising sophomores are living in trailers next year…but they are living in trailers next year,” she said.
Many members of the current First Year class are concerned about where they are going to live next year, and for those not lucky enough to score a spot in the trailers, options that are being talked about to house students include tents on M e m o r i a l F i e l d and a premium laminated cardboard box offering located on Stine Lake.
RFYP was showing off their newest housing options in the CUB on Monday, and Gettysburgian staff talked with several students who had very negative reactions to the n e w s o p h o m o r e h o u s i n g options. One student commented, “I pay $60,000 a year for this?”
Yes, yes you do. “I thought housing was guara n t e e d f o r f o u r y e a r s , ” a n o t h e r s a i d . “ S t u d e n t s were guaranteed on-campus housing for four years when they came to Gett y s b u r g , ” a RFYP staff member said, “ however, we never said what kind of housing was guaran – teed.”
While it is technically true that the type of housing was not specified at matriculation, the general consensus among the rising sophomores is that $60,000 a year should cover more than a tent or a c a r d b o a r d b o x w i t h a blanket. “I’m appalled at what these people consider housing now,” one student commented, “I thought living in Stine this year was as bad as it could get, but Res Life managed to top it for next year with the cardboard box.”
In an attempt to ignore the problem entirely, the Office of Residential a n d F i r s t Y e a r P r o g r a m s has decided to delay giving r i s i n g s o p h o m o r e s t h e i r lottery numbers for as long as possible. The Class of 2018 was supposed to receive their lottery numbers on Monday but they never came.
“We were hoping that if we didn’t send them another email about housing, t h e y w o u l d f o r g e t a b o u t it and stop calling us,” a staff member said. “What m o r e d o y o u w a n t ? W e d o n ’ t h a v e a n y h o u s i n g left.”
D e s p i t e R e s i d e n t i a l and First Year Programs’ best efforts to get rising sophomores to forget all about housing, students continued to call the office Tuesday asking where their lottery numbers were, leading to a hastily sent emails announcing that RFYP had moved the day that the numbers would be released to A p r i l 6 , followed swiftly by an – other email telling stu – d e n t s t o “ d i s r e g a r d t h e email you were previously sent.”
W i l l t he numbers be released on April 6 ? Will rising sophomores be forced to live in a cardboardbox next year? I t will all be determined live on April 14 as the Annual Housing Lottery continues!
Also, April Fools.