Charles Nailen/The Hoya Despite new housing in the Southwest Quadrangle, many rising Juniors still did not receive housingin the recent apartment lottery.

Additional rising upperclassmen may now receive apartments for next year, following the Department of Housing’s decision to rescind the apartments previously assigned to rising sophomore athletes. This announcement helps rectify the difficult situation in which some upperclassmen were placed after discovering that they could not participate in the dormitory lottery.

The housing department sent out an e-mail Wednesday explaining that only members of the class of 2006 are eligible to apply for dormitory housing for next year. This announcement comes on the heels of the results of the apartment lottery, which left some rising upper-classman with pick numbers supposedly eligible for apartments without housing.

“This month, 1000 more students signed up for on-campus housing than in previous years. Even with the 784 new beds in the Southwest Quadrangle and the opening of Alumni Square to juniors and seniors, we find that the desire for on-campus housing exceeds the number of beds available,” the e-mail read.

Furthermore, certain underclassmen athletes were given housing that they requested prior to the housing lottery ever occurring. On Thursday, however, these student athletes were informed by Athletic Director Joe Lang said that they would no longer be receiving the apartments promised to them. Several student athletes found fault with the fact that they were not even given the opportunity to enter the lottery, because they already had apartment assignments – apartments that will now be given to rising juniors.

The department released e-mails last week assigning each housing group its lottery number; the e-mail additionally stated that numbers up to 435 would be given a time slot to pick either an apartment or a Copley Suite. Students were dismayed to find, however, that even those who had drawn a lottery pick under 435 were not all guaranteed apartments.

Janelle Gren (COL ’05), who drew pick number 410, was directed to choose an apartment or Copley suite between 4 and 5 p.m. She and her roommates arrived a half hour early to find selection already winding down.

“You could tell already that there weren’t going to be enough apartments,” she said.

Several students estimated that all apartments had been picked by the time numbers between 340-350 were reached.

At this point, Gren and her roommates can only hope that enough people give up their lottery picks so that she can get a Copley suite, a choice that is generally at the bottom of apartment picks. Either that, or like the rest of the juniors who did not get apartments in the lottery, she’s on her own to find off-campus housing.

Karen Frank, vice president of university facilities and student housing, attributed the housing shortage to a surge in interest in on-campus housing.

“Since all first-year and sophomore students are required to live on campus, the remaining spaces in the residence halls will be allotted to these two classes,” the broadcast-email read. “Therefore, the sign-up for residence hall room selection will be limited to students in the class of 2006.”

Georgetown’s housing department, including Assignment Specialist for Apartments Jessica Stillwell, refused any further comment on the situation.

While the demand for housing clearly exceeded expectations, the housing department’s Web site still states that they “estimate that about one half of rising sophomores will be able to select apartments.” This would be facilitated by moving into apartments that hold more than four people or by having people drop out of apartments that have been assigned to them.

Tom Huddleston (SFS ’05), who was lottery number 379, was surprised not only by how erroneous housing had been in its estimates, but especially by the fact that the department did not apologize.

“I understand that there was unanticipated demand, but I’m really surprised that housing was so unorganized and so unapologetic. They really gave us mixed messages,” he said. “The class of 2005 was guaranteed three years of housing, but it sounded like we were virtually guaranteed four. Lots of rising juniors counted on it.”

Both Huddleston and Gren have begun to search for housing off-campus, but both have concerns. So far, none of the apartments that Gren has looked into have included utilities, and so far they all seem to be more expensive and clearly less convenient than on-campus housing.

The fact that he will be farther away from campus is a concern for Huddleston as well.

“I just have to pick up the pieces and start looking. I have a lot of activities on campus, so this will definitely be less convenient, but now it’s just a game against time,” he said.

Huddleston also mentioned concerns that a lot of students have been voicing – that too many apartments were given to students even before the lottery began.

“I’ve only heard rumors that apartments were given out to those [with doctor’s notes], and that a lot were given to athletes. It doesn’t surprise me that athletes wanted to get apartments, it surprises me that housing caved in,” he said.

These rumors of priority housing for athletes may be true, according to field hockey player and rising sophomore Katy Conicella (NHS ’06), who was initially assigned to live in Alumni Square next year. As of Thursday, however, these underclassmen student athletes no longer have the option of living in these residences, as they will be re-allocated to rising juniors.

“We put in a request of who we want to live with and where to our coaches, and they pass them along to housing. Everyone on the team that put in a request got what they wanted,” she said.

Conicella and her teammates did not have to enter the lottery, and were assigned their apartments before the lottery even began. She also said that football, basketball, volley ball, soccer and men’s and women’s lacrosse teams all get preferred housing.

Many students find this practice unfair.

“I don’t see why housing is related to a student’s athletic ability. Why do sophomore athletes get housing priority over juniors who don’t play sports? And if you’re going to give priority to athletes, why only to certain sports?” Michael Hendricks (NHS ’06) said.

Other students offered the need for team unity, specific schedules and incentive to attract athletes to the school as valid reasons to give athletes priority housing.

But crew team member Aristides Phoutrides (SFS ’06) finds these reasons to be illogical.

“I’m an athlete, and I don’t get priority housing. I’d like to, but at the same time I really don’t think it’s fair,” he said.

“I just wish that housing hadn’t misled us in the degree of certainty there was for us to get housing,” Gren said. “I understand that this is a transition, they just shouldn’t have led us to believe that we would get housing.”

Several rising sophomores are also concerned that the university may renege on its promise of four years guaranteed housing, announced earlier this year.

For those who still have questions about the housing lottery, or about options for next year, there will be a town hall meeting on Friday, Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. in ICC auditorium.

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