Revamped housing system wraps up with few problems

Annette Majerowicz

It’s finally over.

After three months of planning and eight nights of vying for rooms, Northwestern’s answer to the housing lottery has finished – and administrators say they are happy with the results.

Many students are, too, except for the 28 men who were denied housing. Administrators put them on the unofficial waiting list but said they definitely will find rooms for them before school starts in the fall.

About 20 of the 1,670 housing spaces are still open, but all are for women.

Mark D’Arienzo, associate director of university housing, said NU opens more spaces for women because the undergraduate population is 52 percent female and 48 percent male.

That didn’t console Richard Bill, a wait-listed Weinberg freshman . He said he is upset and annoyed with the housing process.

“I don’t think it should be a struggle as a sophomore to get housing on campus,” Bill said.

Last year’s waiting list had 200 people on it. The shorter waiting list came from the addition of Slivka Residence Hall, which has space for 140 students.

“(It’s) the smallest waiting list I’ve ever seen, official or unofficial,” D’Arienzo said.

The waiting list will be official next week when housing officials finish double-checking their data, D’Arienzo said. Priority on the list will be determined by class standing, with rising sophomores given higher preference.

D’Arienzo commended students for how they handled the new process.

“The students made it work,” D’Arienzo said

Grant Pauly, former president of Residential Hall Association, served on the committee that instituted the new housing system. He said he was happy with the process but sees it as a “stepping stone” to next year, when the whole program might go online in a CAESAR-like format.

“I don’t think anyone ever viewed this as the final step,” said Pauly, a McCormick sophomore.

Regardless of what lies in store for the housing process, D’Arienzo said the former lottery system will not be returning.