Housing Process Sees Early Selection Error

The 18 housing groups who were unable to select housing during phase one of selection because of a system error will be offered housing based on their original time slot, according to Executive Director of Residential Services Patrick Killilee.

Groups with average housing points over 3.00 were unable to select apartments after 1:40 p.m. Tuesday, forcing them to select suites instead of apartments. Those junior groups selecting suites later created a shortage in suites for sophomores, resulting in the last 10 housing groups of phase one being unable to select housing.

Killilee said the shortage was the result of errors made by the Office of Residential Living. According to Killilee, Residential Living miscounted the number of apartments that were available for selection. The error was not computer-based but was an error by Residential Living staff.

“It’s not the computer, it’s us. It’s just our figuring out how to use the new system. We ran a report, we said all these apartments, there should be enough apartments and suites for these groups, and somehow we probably ended up being about 5 short,” Killilee said.

Killilee said Residential Living also failed to properly remove holds on five apartments, resulting in students not being able to see them for selection.

“There were about 5 apartments that we took the hold off, but there was a sub hold that we forgot to take off. And that is just on our part. We’re using the new Hoya Housing system and it was just an oversight on our part of not being really, not being as comfortable in the new system as we will be in time,” Killilee said.

Residential Living approached the 18 groups affected by the housing selection glitch on a group-by-group basis to offer them the housing they would have received had the glitch not occurred.

“Our commitment is that that first group of juniors, because they were in that initial 322 groups, we are committed to giving them an apartment. And then for the remaining sophomore groups, we are committed to giving them a suite,” Killilee said.

The apartments and suites required will come from removing additional holds that prevented students from seeing five apartments, and the opening up of apartments as certain students are pulled into other apartments. This process will then make suites available for the remaining sophomore groups to select.

Killilee said redoing the entire housing process would not be practical.

“I know there’s been some, on social media and trust me we’re getting a lot of the emails and phone calls of students, going all well you should redo everything because it’s going to effect everything up the line, it really doesn’t. And it’s just a small number that it’s impacting, that that level of response isn’t warranted,” Killilee said.

GUSA Residential Living Policy Team Chair Christopher Holshouser (MSB ‘18) said GUSA decided advocating to redo the entire housing process would not be best for students after meeting with Residential Living.

“Once we determined that the glitch did in fact happen at a time where there was only one certain apartment that was left, that was when we decided that pushing for an entire redo of the phase was not the best course of action for everyone because proportionally the number of students who got the apartments that they would have gotten anyways is incredibly high,” Holshouser said.

Former GUSA Secretary of Residential Living Connor Maytnier (COL ’17) said he was not surprised Residential Living encountered challenges.

“There have been some hurdles along the way as Georgetown has worked with StarRez to incorporate all of the features that the university would like to see in the system. I am not entirely surprised that there have been some issues with selection, given that the new system is being used for the first time,” Maytnier wrote in an email to The Hoya.

Holshouser said the glitch should never have occurred in the first place.

“I definitely think now they are much more comfortable with it, it was definitely a learning experience, I think it’s a learning experience that absolutely shouldn’t have happened,” Holshouser said.

Holshouser said GUSA is looking to work with Residential Living in the future to address issues with the new housing system.

“But you know we are paying thousands of dollars to be on campus; this is something that shouldn’t happen, and that’s something we’ve strongly emphasized,” Holshouser said. “In the meeting we brought up issues with the system that students were running into, and that’s definitely something that we’re looking forward to working with them on in the future, just making sure it is a much smoother process and making sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Dan Ross (COL ’18), whose group had a selection time after the glitch occurred, said the lack of communication was problematic.

“I mean I’m sure the situation that I’m going to get is nice, it was just annoying to have to deal with the fact that there was a glitch. Then I didn’t actually hear from the school that there was a glitch, I heard from a friend that was like, ‘oh, you should call, there was a glitch,’” Ross said.

Eliza Wheeler (COL ’18), whose group is trying to pull a person from the affected groups into their Henle apartment, said the confusion has been challenging.

“So it’s sort of been a struggle of when we can pull her up, if she can be put back down if her group ends up getting an apartment, and the housing office obviously is overwhelmed with emails and so it’s been very hard to communicate with them what there going to be lenient on and stuff like that,” Wheeler said. “So it’s been a bit of a mess.”

 

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