Waiting for rooms

The housing wait list has been re-instated at the College of William and Mary this year, due to increased demand for on-campus housing.

The wait list is created when more students pay  their $200 housing deposits in anticipation of living on campus, than on-campus housing can accommodate. Last year, the wait list was eliminated after the College’s purchase of the Hospitality House, which added 138 singles and 157 doubles to last year’s room selection.

Last week, the College’s Office of Residence Life assigned students housing time blocks for this year’s room selection, marking the beginning of the 2014 housing registration season.

Associate Director for Administration Katrina Pawvluk said 3,235 students have paid deposits. This number marks a rise from the number of students who paid last year. This year, there are 2,842 beds available, not including freshman housing, Chandler Hall, Resident Assistant rooms, 50 spaces for transfers and 38 spaces for the fall semester’s exchange students.

“We don’t know how far down [the wait list we] will get, but our history has been that anybody who has been patient and stayed on the wait list has gotten an offer for housing,” Director of Residence Life Deb Boykin said.

Some students, such as student staff members, paid their deposits and withdrew their names from the housing lottery after they were hired. As of Thursday, there were about 260 more people than beds to accommodate them, Pawvluk said.

However, students placed on the wait list should not despair. The opt-out process began Monday,

Although there was no wait list last year, students who went through the housing process before 2013 are likely familiar with its nuances.

Donathan Tuck ’14  said that when he was a freshman, he had a low spot in the housing lottery. He sat in class, checking the College’s housing website constantly and was able to snag the last two-person room in Dawson Hall. Tuck said he felt that the Office of Residence Life does the best they can with the spots available.

“They do a pretty good job [considering] there’s limited space,” Tuck said. “I don’t think it can get more fair than that.”

The increase in students making housing deposits is not the only reason housing capacity has changed for the upcoming academic year. Some dorms and sections within dorms have been reassigned. In the case of  the Bryan Complex basement, many double rooms  will now be single rooms. Some triple rooms in the Ludwell Apartments will  be converted into double rooms. Pawvluk said that the move from doubles to singles and triples to doubles was requested by students, many of whom felt the rooms were too cramped.

“We knew that it would make them more comfortable living environments,” Pawvluk said.

Chandler will be offline next year due to renovation, removing  some previously-available rooms from the housing selection process.

Boykin is urging students who wish to opt out of the housing process to do it as soon as possible. She said the Office of Residence Life does not relish placing people on the wait list. Another option for wait-listed students is to use the overcrowd option, which is where a person on the wait list can team up with two friends who are currently in the system and apply for a room that would normally hold two people. It is a method to avoid waiting for a spot to open up.

“If you don’t plan to use your time block, please let us know,” Boykin said. “We want our beds filled.”


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