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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

2012 again highlights housing problems

Published: March 2, 2012
Section: Front Page, News

This upcoming academic year will especially put pressures on the already limited housing arrangement since the class of 2015 is the largest class Brandeis has seen thus far.

Although it varies year to year, Rosenthal typically fills up once the housing lottery reaches number 50 and the Village is filled by around number 115, explained Community Advisor Jessye Kass ’13. Additionally, the last East single is taken by around 800. But with the increasing demand for housing, new spaces will be opened up in the Village for sophomores, including A house and the first floors of B and C.

Another strain on the process is the number of juniors studying abroad. “For this upcoming year 99 more students than usual studying abroad,” Kass said, which will take a toll on space in the Village, where there is typically room for 100 midyears come spring semester.

In the past, 50 of the suites in Ziv were relegated to upperclassmen and six were reserved for study abroad, but with the added demand, there is speculation that more suites may be set aside for those who choose the latter option.

Each year, a housing number dictates where a student will live the following year, which often leads to disappointment in the lower numbers. “We encourage students to have multiple options chosen in advance,” Jeremy Leiferman, senior director of Community Living, said. “I wouldn’t advise becoming concerned about specific room numbers, but focusing rather on room types and locations. Limiting yourself to one or two specific [options] might [leave you] disappointed.”

The Department of Community Living has not yet been unable to accommodate all of Brandeis’ student body. If a student cannot select housing at their appointment time, they will automatically be placed on the housing waitlist over the summer. Waitlisted students have always been able to find housing in previous years.

Some students, like Fiona Dean ’15, expressed frustration at the policy determining that if a student has been unwillingly placed in a single due to an arbitrarily assigned lottery number, he or she will still be forced to pay the rate of a single. There may be hope, Leiferman explained. “We can work with you over the summer to reassign you if space is available.”

What is more foreboding for the future is when the current sizable first-year class becomes juniors. “Housing will be tricky,” Kass said, conceding that this problem will likely appear again, but with even greater demands placed on the housing options that are being quickly outgrown.