Freshmen and sophomores struggle to secure on-campus housing – Annenberg Media
With freshmen and sophomores coming to campus for the first time this fall semester, finding accommodation on campus was complicated.
Due to the pandemic and the popularity of campus housing, rising sophomores have entered a lottery scheme, according to USC Housing director Chris Ponsiglione in an email to Annenberg Media. Ponsiglione said the selection times for housing were generated by a random lottery created by the housing assignments database system. Since the last time students were on campus in the 2019-20 school year, second year assignments have increased by 15%.
Housing assignments are made on a first come, first served basis, according to the USC Housing website. USC Housing has stressed the importance of applying early to ensure you are assigned to your preferred choice of accommodation. And while some students might have gotten their first choice for on-campus accommodation, others had to begin their USC experience in person off campus.
Although not freshmen, sophomores entered USC for the first time in person. Andrew Shutts, a sophomore business administration student, described his disappointment with the process. “I had the last time on the last day,” Shutts said. “So every home I wanted was basically taken and I was forced to live in Gateway. “
This school year, USC Housing rented 175 apartments at University Gateway Apartments, which is off campus. “To provide additional capacity for sophomores, USC Housing has rented space from University Gateway Apartments to ensure that we can provide space through USC Housing to all incoming freshmen and sophomores,” said Ponsiglione.
“It was a bit of a crazy process,” said Kaelyn Moses, a sophomore global health student living in the village of USC. “Honestly, the demand for housing was really confusing. “
While many students have expressed dissatisfaction with their housing assignment, others are satisfied with their placement. Freshman Karla Vainer said she was happy with her dorm in New North and had no issues with her accommodation. “It’s much better than I expected,” said Vainer.
The pandemic has also prevented students from visiting their future apartments before moving in.
Victoria de Cardenas, a second year major in environmental sciences, said she was struggling to find a housing option online and wished she had more than one option.
“I was able to see the layout of the apartment online. But other than that, there wasn’t really a guide, ”said de Cardenas. “I don’t think you can really visit it or anything. It felt like you were stuck with whatever you’re stuck with.