Photo by Jon Drews

The confusion and complaints that several students have had regarding the housing assignments for the fall semester motivated several of them to blame the Department of Housing. However, though Tech’s Housing department could certainly do with communication improvements, they cannot be criticized for many of the issues that they are accused of causing.

Several fourth- and fifth-years have complained about having to deal with the looming possibility of being forced to find off-campus housing if they could not apply in the first round of registration. As such, 450 fewer fifth- and sixth-years live in on-campus housing than last year. However, the Housing emails to the fourth- and fifth-years said that this case was, indeed, a possibility. In fact, though the students were not forced to move off campus, many did so to secure housing for the fall.

Consequently, fifth- and sixth-years still got priority in on-campus housing, resulting in approximately 300 second-years being assigned to the Graduate Living Center. These problems can be attributed more to student miscommunication and precautionary action than to faults of Housing.

Nevertheless, Housing can improve both its general operations and public image by displaying more transparency in communications. Though a few students could determine that they would not have to move off campus, the apologetic tone of the Housing email suggested otherwise.

Also, Housing only sent their announcement to the 300 fifth- and sixth-years that they thought would be affected. Had they sent the email to a wider audience (i.e. all housing residents) with clearer wording, there may not have been so many misconceptions about its implications during the application process. Additionally, this could potentially have minimized the unnecessary confusion after the assignment process.