‘No empty rooms,’ housing to hold all

Some upperclassmen have been placed in Baumhart Hall at the Water Tower Campus and added to a waiting list for Lake Shore Campus housing.
Some upperclassmen have been placed in Baumhart Hall at the Water Tower Campus and added to a waiting list for Lake Shore Campus housing.
Some upperclassmen have been placed in Baumhart Hall at the Water Tower Campus and added to a waiting list for Lake Shore Campus housing.
The PHOENIX/Megan Carabelli

If there’s anything as painful as the course selection process, it’s room selection. With more students than ever before applying for on-campus housing, this year was no exception.

An increased number of students have chosen to live on campus next year, according to Andrew Naylor, associate director for housing operations in the Department of Residence Life. Last year, 4,317 returning students applied for on-campus housing, he said. This year, 4,425 students applied. That’s a 108-person increase from last year.

Prior to room selection day, the housing process begins with each student receiving a lottery number via email, which assigns them to a particular registration time. The closer the lottery number is to one, the earlier the registration time.

With more students opting to live on campus next year, room selection was at its most competitive, leaving those with higher lottery numbers with very few options for where they would live in the fall.

However, unlike previous years, there will be no empty rooms, according to Naylor. At the same time, there will be enough beds for everyone.

In years past, the number of students applying for housing was less than the number of beds available on campus. Because of the increased number of students who applied to live on campus for fall 2014, all the rooms will be filled, according to Naylor.

Naylor attributes the increase of students applying for room selection to the community feel that many changes on campus, such as Damen Student Center, have made.

“I just think it’s a wonderful thing that more students want to live on campus and I think that’s more a statement of how the campus has changed, versus what housing is available,” Naylor said. “I think because of [these changes] students feel a greater sense of home than they did years ago.”

Amy Siracusa, 19, applied to live on campus her junior year. She plans to study abroad next spring, she said, and staying on campus would alleviate the stress of finding a sublet.

Siracusa also said the Loyola community influenced her decision to stay on campus.

“It’s nice being so close to Loyola,” said the sophomore psychology major. “It’s easier to stay connected with other students when you spend the majority of your time on campus.”

Sophomore Chelsea Bilek’s first choice wasn’t to live on campus, but for financial reasons, it made most sense for Bilek and her roommate to stay on campus.

“I wanted to live off campus, but my roommate’s financial aid has living built in,” said the 20-year-old international studies major. “Without a roommate, I wouldn’t be able to afford an apartment. Even though there were other options of people to live with, I get along really well with my roommate, and I didn’t want to leave her with a random [roommate].”​

As far as freshman housing, the options have been kept to de Nobili, Simpson, San Francisco, Mertz and Campion, Naylor said. Regis will have transfer floors and, if the size of the incoming class requires it, some freshman will live there too.

This year’s incoming freshman class of 2017 had 2,505 students, compared to the class of 2016 which had 2,003 students, according to Lori Green, director of the Office of Admissions.

For the 2013-14 academic year, to accommodate the unexpectedly large freshman class, current students received notification during summer 2012 that they would be relocated, he said. Students planning to live in Regis Hall were moved into Fordham Hall.

All residence halls not reserved for the incoming class will be open to upperclassmen students. In previous years, upperclassmen only had Baumhart, Santa Clara, and Fordham to choose from for housing, he said. For next year, sophomores, juniors and seniors can choose between any of the halls not reserved for freshman.

However, the promise of  “enough space” isn’t a guarantee of living on the campus of your choice. For many students, this means living on Water Tower Campus (WTC) in Baumhart Hall for lack of other options.

“There are some students who may not prefer to live in Baumhart but selected Baumhart,” Naylor said. “We have been putting those students on a waiting list if they have the desire to come up to [the Lake Shore Campus], letting them know that if they’re on that waiting list we can assign them to Lake Shore.”

The down side to this, he said, is that Residence Life cannot guarantee them an apartment-style hall if housing availability opens up on the Lake Shore Campus (LSC). Upperclassmen residence halls that are not apartment style, such as Messina and Regis, are suite style. The difference between suite-style and apartment-style halls is the presence of a kitchen in the latter.

Room selection for juniors and seniors began Feb. 20 and then on Feb. 24 for sophomores, according to Naylor.

One student, Louis Scarlati, 18, said he feels like he received the short end of the stick.

“I don’t have a single class downtown, yet I am stuck living at the Water Tower Campus,” the freshman chemistry major said.

Scarlati doesn’t feel that the university planned well enough for the increased number of sophomores living on campus, given that the current freshman class is one of the largest the university has ever had, he said.

He was also concerned about the higher costs forced on students who don’t want to live at WTC in the first place. However, according to Naylor, the cost of living in Baumhart is comparable to many of the options on the LSC.

“Baumhart is just a little bit more expensive for undergraduates than, say, your Seattle [Hall] and Xavier [Hall], but it’s right on par with Santa Clara [Hall] and Fordham [Hall],” he said.

​The Department of Residence Life website lists all available housing options and costs of room and board. For a two-bedroom triple or quad in Baumhart, the cost is $9,390; for a two-bedroom double the listed room rate is $13,300, according to the website. A two-bedroom triple in Baumhart is $12,630.

As Naylor said, these costs are similar to those of Santa Clara and Fordham on the LSC, compared to most other LSC housing which is between $7,000 and $9,000 per student. In Santa Clara, for example, room and board is $12,950 for a double and $9,140 for a two-bedroom quad. In Fordham, a one bedroom double costs $9,070 and a two bedroom quad costs $8,670.

However, many of the other living options on LSC are cheaper than at the WTC. For example, a two-bedroom quad in Fairfield costs $8,060, according the website. That’s a difference of $1,330 for the same type of apartment in Baumhart.

​With the increase in students living on campus, though, it makes sense that for those with higher lottery numbers, selection will become increasingly limited.

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