Staking Claims in the Gamblin’ Game
Written by Carrie Baker. Media by Kayla Morton.
It’s that time of year again! Hundreds of Greenville College students are trying to secure their desired home in the Housing Lottery. One year’s housing cost, $4,152, is at stake for every student hoping to land their dream spot. In the midst of the chaos, students are questioning the fairness and accuracy of the current system.
Ross Baker, Director of Housing at Greenville College, shared how the Housing Lottery works, hashed out the pros and cons and shed some light on the housing system in its transition from Greenville College to Greenville University. In talking with Baker, it became apparent that good luck isn’t enough.
The Housing Lottery is a two-month process that begins with informational meetings. Students are required to attend one of the three meetings where the process is explained in detail and they are given their point sheet (the ticket to “Home Sweet Home”) Currently, the lottery operates on a system of points that are based on credit hours and academic and behavioral standing. After the meeting, students decide where their desired housing is and they attend the prospective Housing Lottery night that corresponds with their selection. On the night of the lottery, students pool together their points with their roommate(s) to hopefully secure their living situation. In the event of a tie, the lottery portion of the system comes into play and students choose a number between 1 and 100. Whoever lands closest to the predetermined number gets the room, but some people feel this method is unfair.
Ross explained that this system is the best because it randomizes a tie. The Housing Lottery also uses objective criteria and allows for spaces to be open equally to all students that qualify. However, Baker realizes the system is subject to error and understands there is room for improvement.
There are no promises, but in the future, the system might be modernized in the transition to Greenville University. These changes could include online registering and altering the system to include “squatters rights.” This means students would have the opportunity to keep a room they are already in. Ross also expressed desire in integrating a modification of this into the current system to satisfy a larger portion of the student base, namely the Upper Division students.
Housing over 850 students is not an easy task, but the current Housing Lottery system appears to be working well for Greenville College at the moment. However, it makes sense to update the system as the college expands and the needs of students slowly change.
This year the lottery seems to be going smoothly with only a few bumps along the way. Who knows, there may be modifications in the system a few years down the road. As for now, the current system is holding up as students prepare for the 2016-2017 academic year!