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Housing Lottery–Hit or Miss?

Brendan Doherty ‘15, Staff Writer

The housing lottery can be a blood bath, and with the ability to carry over the housing assigned during the current semester to the next year, housing selection can become more and more limited.

In the past couple years, Merrimack has shifted its focus of housing to be less focused on seniority and more focused on free liberty for all students (underclassmen to upperclassmen) in the housing selection. In the past, students were on a very linear path with housing. If you were an incoming freshman you lived in the Deegans’ or Ash, sophomores lived in Monican and the Town Houses, and juniors and seniors were given the option of O’Brien Hall and the Apartments. This was expected with few exceptions; along with this process was a sense of paying your dues as an underclassman.

According to resident life, the new residence halls are in high demand for renewal and specialty housing. Many students were unaware of the ability to renew their housing for next year or even that there was a deadline for renewal. The reminder E-mail came during one of the busiest weeks of the semester —the week before spring break. Naturally students missed the deadline and were advised to apply for specialty housing.

But with the high demand of the new resident halls before the housing lottery even starts, how many rooms will actually be available for the lottery? That number is undisclosed but we are assured that there must be turnover in the halls. That being said, the honors freshman this year, who were given top tier housing on campus, now have the ability to keep it for the duration of their time at Merrimack College. Meanwhile, juniors and seniors struggle to even find an opening for them to live in the housing they desire.

This past year housing has shifted dramatically. Freshman are scattered throughout the campus, sophomores are living in what used to be considered freshman dorms and upperclassmen live in the pick of their choice, if they weren’t already given away before the lottery began. Housing selection was certainly in need of a restructure, but instead the structure was taken away and turned to chaos.

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