RFYP Announces New Dates and Changes to Housing Selection
By Nicole DeJacimo, Investigations Editor
On Friday, the office of Residential and First-Year Programs announced new dates for housing selection in April after the college’s shutdown postponed the process originally scheduled for March. Also, beginning with the Class of 2022, residential students will no longer have their GPA considered when determining their lottery number for housing. This process began when the class of 2022 choose their housing for the 2019-20 academic year.
According to an email sent by Director of Resident and First-Year Programs Danielle Phillips, the new housing selection dates are listed below. Phillips also clarified that the website is not yet fully updated and will be continued to be updated throughout the rest of the semester to provide additional information.
Online Housing Selection
- Friday, April 17 – Lottery numbers published
- Friday, April 17 – students begin selecting roommates
- Monday, April 20 – online proxy forms due
- TBD – week of April 20 – “Online Housing Selection Information Sessions”
- Saturday, April 25 – Rising senior/rising junior online selection
- Sunday, April 26 – Rising sophomore online selection
- Monday, April 6 – Disability Accommodations Request Forms Due
- Wednesday, April 8 – Assignments out to students
- Monday, April 13 – Accommodations acceptance forms due
To determine their number, according to Phillips, rising sophomores will use their Charting Your Course (CYC) credits, rising juniors will use their Sophomore Success Program (SSP) credits, and rising seniors, starting the next academic year 2020-21, will have a randomized lottery system.
“Over the past 30 years, Gettysburg students have become much more academically strong,” said Phillips. “Using GPA was no longer creating a distinction among the majority of students.”
Before the college made the official policy change, “students, student senate, and the SLC (the Student Life Committee which contains students, faculty, and administrators) were all consulted,” said Phillips.
One of the main concerns that Phillips cited from the consulting sessions was that there were GPA discrepancies between academic programs. Meaning that some degree programs or departments may be seen as more difficult than others, according to the consulting group. Additionally, some believed that the GPA did not measure students’ efforts. Phillips, however, claimed that there were “not any ‘problems’ associated” with the GPA or new method of determining lottery numbers. Phillips explained that most students’ GPAs were ranked in the highest lottery bracket. It was not mentioned if they considered making smaller or more specific brackets.
Continually, Phillips explained that GPA was not a good measure for students whose academics are affected by “factors outside their control.” The previously mentioned consulting group decided that this left students at a disadvantage. Phillips did not expand on what factors the group was referring to, but some other colleges explained that their randomized housing lottery system took out all subjective factors.
The CYC and Sophomore Success programs were their alternatives that “considered the institutional priorities” of Gettysburg College which “values engagement and personal accountability”. The Charting Your Course program is the extended orientation program for first-year students. Each student must participate in 22 mandatory activities, including floor meetings, G-chats with their Resident Assistants, and elective events in each pillar: Be Curious, Own Your Experience, Engage Difference, and Make an Impact. Brackets are then determined by how many activities a student completes. If any first-year who needs to appeal their CYC credits must do so by April 6.
The Gettysburg College website explained that “It is designed to empower students to be Gettysburg Great as they learn about, engage in, and plan their Gettysburg experience.”
Since the new program is only a year old and the randomized housing has yet to be put in place, there are no current measured benefits or consequences. It is unsure when RFYP will release any feedback.
As for juniors, starting next academic year, which means that current rising seniors class of 2021 still use the old system, lottery numbers will be randomized which “is done at many peer institutions and considered a best practice,” said Phillips. Dickinson College, for example, does have a randomized housing lottery system, but neither Phillips nor Dickinson explained as to why randomized is considered a “best practice”.
“Our current policy aligns with peer institutions,” Phillips explained, “and best practices across the field of higher education.”
Housing Selection Process for 2020-21 Academic Year
- Class of 2023 – Rising Sophomores – Credit from Charting Your Course determines lottery numbers.
- Class of 2022 – Rising Juniors – Credit from the Sophomore Success program determines lottery numbers.
- Class of 2021- Rising Seniors – GPA will determine lottery numbers.
Other Important Dates
- Monday, April 6 – deadline to appeal CYC credits
- Wednesday, April 15 – Greek room rosters due
- Wednesday, April 15, at 5 pm – Fall 2020 abroad students must communicate to CGE if they no longer plan to study abroad so that they can be included in the online housing selection process
- Monday, April 16 – Study Abroad Housing Forms sent to Fall 2020 abroad students
- Monday, April 27 – Study Abroad Housing Forms due
- Monday, April 27 – Housing Selection PHASE III begins (waitlists)
Edit made for housing selection process clarification by Nicole DeJacimo on April 5, 2020.