BY HANNAH CRITES
Although the Housing Fair began later in the day this year, students still lined up at early hours on Friday morning to select housing for the fall semester.
Most of the students waited in large groups outside the ground floor of the J.C. Williams Center with their friends playing games and watching movies.
“It’s a trickle effect,” said freshman Jacqueline McHaffie. “Everyone else is lining up early, and it isn’t easy to get the housing you want.”
According to Catherine Heck, assistant vice president of Student Life, the Housing Fair began at 6:30 p.m. in order to ensure that students were out of class and members of households and athletic teams could still attend the fair before various weekend retreats and sporting events occurred.
However, freshman John Kay arrived at 12:30 the night prior with three friends in hopes of getting four of the five beds available for sophmores in Saint Louis Residence Hall.
“It’s where my friends are,” said Kay. “I live in Louis now and I really like it, so I’m hoping to go back next semester too.”
Students also no longer had to bring their spring tuition bill or upcoming class schedule to this
year’s Housing Fair. Housing at Franciscan is particularly unique, according to Heck. Franciscan houses all four classes in every dorm, unlike other universities where there is a hall specifically devoted to one class. The percentages of beds promised to each class are dependent on class sizes.
“It permits community and helps build the Franciscan University culture,” said Heck of the university’s system. “The older students influence the younger students by teaching them about policy, encouraging growth and offering support.”
Between 300 and 350 students attended the housing fair. The remaining students are either graduating, in Assisi Heights or given a bed allocated by households.
Each household is allowed 10 beds on their wing for members to take. This proves to be a problem for large households with members who still want to live on wing, but are unable to take one of the beds provided because they are already full.
“I just got inducted into Madonna of the Streets,” said sophomore Abby Reed who began standing in line at 11 a.m. “I’m trying to get on my household wing in Clare because I didn’t get pre-housed. It’ll be a fun way to get to know my new sisters if I was on wing.”
Many students have complained in years past about how inefficient the Housing Fair is, suggesting the fair remain strictly online so students don’t have to spend hours in line.
“There isn’t an online software that supports our unique way of housing,” said Heck. “I have looked at a software that could be tweaked to fit with our system.” But Heck said the software was too expensive and even incompatible with other institutions.
“It’s a combination of cost,” she said, “and the fact that we have a unique way of housing that we want to maintain and that just doesn’t really fit the way other colleges house.”
Luckily, pre-housing plans for those in households and Assisi Heights, requiring residents to sign their housing contracts separate from the housing fair, has caused the number of people who attend to decrease, lowering the wait time.