On Wednesday, March 1, students applying for on-campus housing through the Office of Student Living and Learning discovered that all sophomore housing was filled for the Fall 2017 semester. Students were informed following the closing of all open positions that “Rising sophomore students who cannot select a room via the StarRez Housing Portal will be automatically placed on a waitlist. Rising sophomore students are guaranteed housing and every student will be placed in Institute housing by the end of the spring 2017 academic semester.” Students who have applied for on-campus housing are currently unable to view room selection information following submitting their application.
The Office of Student Living and Learning is currently preparing for the incoming Class of 2021, which is anticipated to be larger than the current sophomore class which will no longer be guaranteed housing in Fall 2017, further increasing enrollment and demand for on-campus housing at Rensselaer. According to data retrieved by The Poly, Rensselaer received a record total of over 19,000 applications for the Fall 2017 semester and the Office of Student Living and Learning will not be aware of final housing demand until May 1—the regular decision enrollment deadline. The Office of Student Living and Learning is anticipating changes in on-campus housing demand from the current freshman class, saying that “The waitlist is necessary as a number of our rising sophomore students will be registering for sophomore Greek waivers, applying for co-ops, and studying abroad. This waitlist process is not unique to this year, and we will be able to place every rising sophomore in Institute housing.”
In response to the housing situation, some Greek students have called for the elimination of the 2.5 GPA requirement to live in Greek Commons, creating an online Senate petition titled “Greek Sophomore Housing.” Currently, Greek-affiliated students make up 22 percent of the Rensselaer student body.
Last summer, Rensselaer made renovations to the North and E-Complex residence halls, which were closed at the end of the Spring 2015 semester. Renovations occurred over the summer to accommodate the Class of 2020, the largest incoming freshmen class in RPI’s history. More information about the renovations is available at https://poly.rpi.edu/s/wx1gk.
The Office of Student Living and Learning has not yet assigned a deadline for contacting sophomore students currently on the housing waitlist, but stated in an official release that the Office of Student Living and Learning will be calling all students on the waitlist as space becomes available to discuss their preferred housing location and to assign them a room.
In response to an inquiry from The Poly, Dean Cary Dresher of the Office of Living and Learning issued the following response: “Our office would like to thank The Poly for covering this issue and providing additional information about this process. The Student Living and Learning Staff are working with rising second year students who have not yet received housing. These rising sophomore students have been placed on a waiting list and will be contacted as space becomes available. We have had waitlists in the past, however due to the large size of this year’s rising sophomore class more students have been affected. Spaces will become available through the Greek Waivers process, students going on Co-op or internship, and students studying abroad. Housing for Second Year students is guaranteed and required. The Office of Student Living and Learning is committed to personally assisting each student who is on the current wait list.”