April 8, 2022 | NEWS | By Leigh Walden | Photo by Rikki Held
As the school year winds down, students are registering for next year’s classes, finalizing plans for the summer, and navigating housing registration. For some, figuring out housing for the next year is stressful and tiring.
As Colorado College prepares to ease into what will hopefully resemble a normal academic year, students are looking forward to living on campus. The Housing Department has reinstated the three-year rule, saying students must live on campus for their first three years of enrollment. But with so many students on campus, this task is easier said than done.
Housing options are already stretched, and students across campus have been facing the repercussions. In South Hall, forced triples are not uncommon, nor are individuals who are living in what would otherwise be open study spaces.
Some rising seniors are feeling disappointed in how recently they were told that on-campus housing wouldn’t really be an option. In an interview with a junior who wished to remain anonymous, they said, “while housing isn’t directly responsible for the fact that there aren’t enough rooms to go around, we could have been told earlier and more clearly that we were unlikely to get housing on-campus, which would have given us more time to look for off campus options.”
According to Samantha Soren, Colorado College’s Director of Residential Experience, the email informing seniors of their limited on-campus options went out on Jan. 24. Though, she said, senior assignments “may not be solidified until after first-year placements are made in June & July.”
For some rising seniors, waiting until one or two months before school starts is not only inconvenient but feels somewhat disrespectful. From the interview with the junior mentioned previously, they said, “Overall, I am pretty disappointed in how housing was handled, and it feels as though the senior class has been deeply under-appreciated in the eyes of the administration.”
For some individuals outside of the class of 2023, finding housing can still be a hassle. The Catalyst spoke to a sophomore student who wished to remain anonymous.
“It’s difficult because my friends and I went through the hassle of applying for all the different apartment combinations in all the different places and we didn’t get a placement. So now we go back to the research phase and try to find other options for next year,” they said. “It’s frustrating because I still cannot exactly tell you how apartment placements are decided. Like the process is still so elusive and unknown.”
When asked what the Housing Department’s transparency policy was, Soren said, “We try and get information out to our students as soon as possible. For example, leadership made the 3-year residency requirement decision and we had the email… out within 48 hours.”
However, Soren did not comment on the process that the Housing Department uses to decide what information to share. Ultimately, one of the largest dilemmas between the student body and the housing department, outside of a general limit on housing availability, might be this lack of communication.
This is not a problem new to Colorado College housing. An anonymous first-year student described how she’s had a series of issues with housing since arriving on campus.
“About a month into the school year, I received a housing accommodation from the Office of Accessibility Resources, but I had to get on a waitlist to receive a new room. I ended up waiting several months for this accommodation, even though I got on the list the day it opened,” she said. “Those months were quite taxing for my mental health. When I finally got my accommodation, Housing didn’t tell me when to move in until about a week later (and I had to email them to remind them).”
Some students at CC have been waiting on the housing reassignment waitlist for several months with irregular communications as to when they’ll be supplied with different housing. Outside of accessibility requests, it can be very difficult to receive a new housing placement.
Housing will release online time slots today, with the actual selection process taking place next week. One thing that Soren wants to reiterate is “for rising sophomores and rising juniors… just because you did not receive an apartment placement does not mean that you will not have housing.”
Despite much of housing selection still to come, students were clear that better communication is necessary in the future:
“I would like to see more responsiveness from Housing… Their office needs to be more receptive, and it shouldn’t be my job to cajole them into doing theirs,” said a rising sophomore.
Housing needs to “improve communication with the student body,” according to a rising senior.
One rising junior says that Housing needs to “be more clear with their processes and how all the placements happen once you click the button.”