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My Housing Rant

March 3, 2009

by Spencer Kline
My Housing Rant

I am going to start this article off by informing you that I am very biased and bitter. I was a junior studying abroad this fall. On my return back to campus, I wanted a single. Badly. I like my solitude, and I have a girlfriend. A single just made sense. But because of the housing crunch, I didn’t get one. This happens and I understand. If there are more people requesting singles than are available, then the school cannot honor all requests. It’s a pure numbers game. I want to make clear, that’s not what I am angry about. I am angry about what has happened since then. On the first day of this semester, I went to Ethan Andyshak, the Director of Residential Life, and requested to be moved to a single. He informed me that for a variety of reasons some students were not going to be returning this semester and that there was a chance he’d be able to fill my request. He’d said he would get back to me with an answer in no longer than one week.

It has been a little over two months. I have yet to receive a response. I have had my countless emails outright ignored. I have had five pointless meetings. I have talked with Fid Castro, Ethan Andyshak’s direct superior. And I have yet to receive one freaking definitive word. Not a yes, not a no. I still have stuff piled in my car in preparation for a potential move that I have been told over and over again could occur any day now.

This is what I have been able to cobble together about the housing situation as I sifted through the maze of double speak that has been spewed my way. First, there still are open singles. Multiple singles. However, as much as it pains me to say this, I can kind of understand why I have not been put into one of these open rooms. I have been told they are keeping them open in order to create flexibility during the RA change over. This does make sense to me. They have strung me along by claiming I may still receive one of these rooms after spring break. I have a sneaking suspicion that this article might be the nail in my coffin that prevents this from happening.

The real reason I am angry goes as follows. At the beginning of the year there were students living in singles requesting to live in doubles anywhere. While I am left to wonder why these people were put in singles to begin with, I’ll ignore that question for the time being. It is important to keep in mind that this information has come straight from Mr. Andyshak himself. The truth could be even more ridiculous than what he has happened to let slip during our numerous conversations.

These were students who wanted to move to doubles, so switching rooms would have been a net benefit for both sides. However, because of the bureaucracy of the system I was not put into contact with any of the several people requesting to move into a double until last week. That would be 2 full months after I first made my request. Unsurprisingly, at this point in the year they were so settled into their rooms that they no longer wanted to move.

I want to make clear that I don’t want this article to be seen as a personal attack. For all I know Ethan Andyshak is merely following protocol. If this is the case, it’s not with him that I have a problem. It’s rather with the painfully inefficient bureaucracy of the system. I fully understand that not all requests can be honored. But I don’t feel like it is asking too much to say that requests should be dealt with in a timely and efficient manner. A yes when willing parties exist, and a no when they do not—that’s all I really want from my housing department.

Housing is an important part of our college experience. From what I have heard anecdotally, I am not the only one who experienced this sort of turmoil. This article was really just me being a whiner. Tell me your stories. If you plan to apply to be an RA in the future and are worried about retribution, post anonymously, but these wrongs must be aired. Maybe once and for all we can help destroy the bureaucratic red tape that defines CMC’s housing policies.

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