Why housing signup sucks so much

Rachel Leman

There’s a roughly a week every term when students have a collective mental breakdown. Each class gets their own day assigned for this emotional explosion. There are people hyperventilating at 6:30 in the morning as the internet slows and crashes repeatedly as they frantically attempt to hit the “submit” button on their third backup schedule.
I never said I was talking about class registration, but I’m sure almost every student at Augustana knew what I meant simply by describing the horrific feelings registration provides. Simply put, registration sucks. Yet there is a week every year that collectively throws students’ emotions in a blender even more than registration: housing signups.
Rising seniors have no worries about this because they know the school will have nothing to do with their housing. They are entirely responsible for themselves, which is so much more comforting than having to trust a school that keeps accepting more people than they can fit to find a home for you.
Future first-years have to handle five people living in a room that was always meant to be a floor lounge. Rising sophomores have to figure out the residential life housing system on their own for the first time. Rising juniors get screwed with less beds than ever because several TLAs had to be given to the younger classes that are too big for the sophomore housing already provided.
Some juniors have been left homeless when the school promised them a room. Some juniors had to resort to their fourth or fifth option because their top choices were given to people with non-life-threatening medical accommodations.
I’ve heard stories of students who got first choices of houses because of a mild case of asthma or because they went to residential life and cried. The fact that people are so afraid of what their housing for the next year will turn out to be that they resort to such unfair methods to secure a home just proves that Augustana took a much bigger bite of high school applicants than they could chew.
I don’t want to be the one to tell the school to turn people away, but I will be the one to tell them to stop making promises they can’t keep. Don’t tell admissions to give tours of these great housing options that the majority of any class won’t get to live in. Don’t tell rising juniors they have to live on campus when there are more students than there are beds for them to sleep in. Don’t promise students things the school can’t give them.
There are honestly no words to describe how frustrating it is to be this disappointed by your school. All the tears that were shed last week during housing assignments is on Augie. Either stop accepting more students than we can fit, or find more places to fit them.