“We need places to sleep:” Rising sophomores frustrated by housing selection process

Bush Hall, a first-year residential hall, is pictured on April 18. Natalie Brownsell / The Tufts Daily
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After selecting housing for the 2022–23 school year on April 7, rising sophomores received an email from the Office of Residential Life and Learning on April 8 informing them of plans to redo the selection process for all doubles and triples groups on April 11. Students who wished to select housing in the general selection category, originally scheduled for April 8, were told by ORLL that their registration would be moved to April 12.

 Registration for groups of doubles and triples first began at 10 a.m. on April 7, but at that time, several housing groups were not able to access and select rooms in Stratton Hall, Associate Director for Residential Education Tim Jordan explained.

There was a small error in the process where Stratton Hall was not available for groups during a 30-minute timeframe for selection,” Jordan wrote in an email to the Daily. “Not having those spaces available caused concern for several students and initiated our decision to reselect this week.”

Julia Eneyni, a rising sophomore, was among those attempting to select housing when Stratton Hall was not available. She explained that Stratton was the first-choice dorm for her and her future roommate, but when her roommate went to select housing at 10 a.m., Stratton was unavailable.

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Eneyni’s roommate emailed ORLL, whose coordinators explained that they were able to fix the issue and open Stratton to sophomores around 10:40 a.m. 

Through a phone call that morning, ORLL offered Eneyni and her roommate a room in Stratton, but they declined, opting for a bigger room in Harleston Hall.

First-year Ethan Putlack was among those who, on the first day of doubles selection, were unable to select a room at all. There were no available rooms left when his 5:18 p.m. selection time came around.

Putlack explained that the website showed triples and a few doubles that had one space occupied, rendering him and his roommate unable to select those rooms as a group of two.

We’d … given up — we were going to, I guess, figure out something during general selection,” Putlack said.

Putlack attempted to leave his housing group, assuming general selection would happen the next day, so he could select a bed in a room as a group of one. When ORLL emailed about re-doing doubles selection later that night, though, Putlack was not re-placed into his doubles group and had to contact ORLL to be placed back in before April 11.

Both Eneyni and Putlack were able to select housing as doubles groups. Despite ending up with her preferred housing, Eneyni expressed some frustration with the redo.

“It was not ideal, especially because some of my friends, when they redid it, got smaller dorms,” Eneyni said. 

Even after ORLL fixed the errors with doubles and triples selection, some students were unable to register for housing during general selection on April 12 and have yet to receive a housing assignment.

Rising sophomore Aubrey Rahaim wanted to select a bed during general selection but with a lottery number of 2,820 — on the low end of the 1,000–2900 range for rising sophomores — and when her selection time came around, the housing website showed no beds available.

Frustrated by her uncertain housing situation for next year, Rahaim emailed ORLL to ask when she might be assigned a bed. She said their response lacked specific dates for when she would know her housing for next year.

They fixed doubles selection within 44 hours, they at least emailed people and they’ve told us nothing about general selection,” Rahaim said. “I don’t know what the plan is.”

Jordan stressed that Tufts guarantees housing for all first- and second-year students and explained ORLL’s plan for assigning housing to those unable to select during general selection.

Our goal is to review all available spaces and determine available placements for those students who were unable to select on the day of selection,” Jordan wrote. “There are some sophomores who may not have been able to select housing initially who will [be] placed over the course of the next few weeks.

Rahaim’s housing situation for next year remains uncertain.

It’s stressful for sophomores because we know [Tufts] over-admitted our class, and they’re clearly having a housing crisis,” Rahaim explained. “It’s just a stressful time to be trying to figure out [if I will] have housing next year.”

Eneyni echoed Rahaim’s sentiments.

After going through what my entire friend group did with … housing selection and the suites falling apart, I think anybody probably would have sent an email, too — just out of frustration,” Eneyni said.

Jordan elaborated on Tufts’ long-term plans for reimagining housing, explaining that ORLL has added beds and embarked on renovations to residence halls and wood frame buildings.

We are planning to convert more university-owned buildings into apartments for juniors and seniors,” Jordan wrote. “We are planning a new residence hall for 370 juniors and seniors that is slated to open in fall 2025.”

Eneyni said the chaotic experience showcased the university’s need to build new dorms. 

“Tufts needs to build more dorms instead of building [places] like [the] Cummings Center,” Eneyni added. “I think we need places to sleep.”

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