Updated Village room selection aims at fairness

The Village, which opened in 2010, has been a major success.

“I think it’s a great way for students to get independent living experience while still having the convenience of living on campus,” said Rick Kolenda, Director of Residence Life and Housing. Feb. 1 commences the 2012-13 selection process for The Village. This process, however, has been revised due to problems that have come to the attention of the officials of Residence Hall and Housing at Oswego State.

The Residence Life and Housing board has three priorities they need to meet when sorting out who is going to live where. These include making sure people can move back in to their building, the ability to request roommates and having priority based on their academic year.

Last spring, during the 2010-11 to 2011-12 selection everything worked out perfectly. One-hundred and three residents returned to The Village, which filled 226 spaces, and left 66 spaces for everyone else. This is when Associate Director Marie Driscoll realized that the selection process would not always work out this well.

Currently, there are more juniors than seniors living in The Village. According to a survey the board recently took of 144 current residents, 70 have said they plan to return and 74 have said they do not plan to return.

“If 74 residents decide not to return, 262 current residents will. Which would only leave 70 spaces available for non-village residents, making it impossible to allow each resident the option to pull in one non-village resident,” Driscoll said.

Discussions about possible solutions started last February and became an even more important topic last semester.

“Marie Driscoll and I, along with the Village Council, spent most of last semester discussing options for this coming year’s selection process before finally settling on what has been rolled out,” Kolenda said.

The board’s first goal was to maintain the current residents ability to return in the 2012-13 semester. There have been countless hours of deliberation, planning and work put into this new selection process. Driscoll wishes the process was not so “complicated” and said that she alone has put in at least “20 hours of just meetings, input, and opinions” about the new process, not to mention the numerous other people who have helped as well.

The Village housing is only available for juniors and seniors who meet the requirements that can be read on the Oswego State website. The new selection process starts when students complete the first step by paying the deposit and accepting the Village terms agreement that goes from Feb. 1-10.

Students must complete the confirm-and-request part of the process. Current Village residents are to complete this step from Feb. 2-22, and non-Village residents from the 16-22.

The third step includes four main steps: squatters, Village resident lottery, Village majority lottery and general Village lottery. The village squatters start Feb. 14, where a matched group of current residents will occupy a townhouse that one member of the group already has. On Feb. 15, the Village resident lottery, which is for current residents who are not squatting and can be individuals or a matched group takes place and Feb. 28 and 29 are the village majority lottery. This includes matched groups that have half or more than current Village residents. Finally there is the Village general lottery on March 6 and 7. This step is for the remaining Village housing selection participants.

Individual lottery numbers and start times will be distributed to students participating in the housing selection for each lottery. Both the number and time to start will be available after 4p.m. on the Monday after the selection process. For all the lotteries, the class of Dec. 2012 participants will be assigned the best lottery numbers, and the class of 2013 will be assigned the second-best lottery numbers. People in matched groups will all have different numbers and times. The person in the group with the best lottery number and time should make the housing selection for the group.

The process has already started and there are many ways to get informed about this new process, including emails sent to students, posters, the school website and information sessions. Students placed in The Village for 2012-13 may not be able to return to The Village for 2013-14. A decision and final plans will not be announced until Nov. 1, 2012.

The Village selection process is still a work in progress and requires additional discussion. Driscoll believes this new process “evens the playing field” for everyone and hopes to find a permanent solution soon. She says they hope to from a group combining students from every year and staff to figure out the best answer.

“Who has a better perspective on this kind of problem than the students?” Driscoll said.