Registering for classes can be a tortuous process involving a lot of planning ahead and a lot of anger. However, residents on campus know of an even worse process that affects a lot more than just their class schedule: selecting housing for the upcoming year.
The Village, a residential apartment complex on campus, filled up quickly this year and many students were not happy about the outcome of their housing situation. Since The Village is comprised of newer apartments built in 2003, only students who meet the requirement of at least 50 credits are able to dorm or be pulled into these apartments.
However, students who lived in The Village previously may also retain their space for the next year. Unfortunately, this fills up the buildings quicker and makes less apartments available for students anticipating this living space. When all of the apartments are filled, students – sometimes in their last year at the university – are forced to enter less attractive apartments like Hawk Crossings or stay in traditional dorms with little or no kitchen space.
Though it is common in many residence halls on campus to retain a space for the next year, it is unfair to retain The Village because of its strict credit requirement and newer appeal. To live in these apartments is a privilege for students that worked really hard over the course of their years at Montclair State University. Students should not be allowed to retain space within The Village for multiple years when other students work hard to reach the credit minimum required to get into the residence building.
Some students on campus endure the older residence halls throughout their years on campus, such as Freeman Hall, Bohn Hall and Blanton Hall, just to save up money to use toward The Village their senior year. This makes it even more annoying for students who miss out on this particular residence hall because now they never get to live in a nice building on campus.
Some students are able to knock their credits out early to sail smoothly into a nice apartment for the majority of their time at Montclair State. Yet, other students have trouble balancing extracurricular activities and 15-credit semesters, so they bide their time in leaking dorm rooms until they can celebrate their hard work in The Village for their last year of college. Just because a student does not have 50 credits by the end of their sophomore year does not mean they did not work just as hard as a student who does.
The best way to improve this process would be to create a limit for how many semesters students can live in The Village. Some students have been able to retain spaces for more than two years. This is unfair for other students waiting until their senior year to try and snag a spot.
If the school does not want to implement a different policy for selecting housing, then they should focus more on renovating older residence halls during the summer. Some traditional housing buildings, like Blanton Hall for example, do not include a kitchen. This makes it difficult for residents with strict dietary needs to make their own food. More kitchens need to be added to residence halls if the apartments are only available on a quick first-come, first-serve basis and for students with a certain amount of credits.
Housing is a lot like registration: a fight to the death type of selection process that requires quick fingers to pick spaces and a good memory for your roommates’ CWIDs. All students should have an equal chance of luck when selecting their future temporary homes.