Fifteen hundred and seven wasn’t her refund but her lottery number. When Olusayo Olayinka had opened her envelope from housing last spring, she was devastated.
“I basically felt that I was going to be put in a lounge again,” said Olayinka, a sophomore psychology student.
Her number was the highest she heard among her freshman class. As a freshman, Olayinka had attended information sessions and had been told she wasn’t guaranteed housing.
“I had to work with my friends that had a lower number [to get in], but here I am in [Temple] Towers and I’m loving it. But it was hard to deal with,” Olayinka said.
Regina Wilmes, director of Temple University Housing, said that the selection process would be like last year’s, but with some changes. Classes will pick housing space on different days after students have put down their housing deposit.
“It will be a random lottery number, so you have the same possibility as anybody in your class to get higher number or a lower number,” Wilmes said.
Even though the housing lottery system seems fair, Olayinka thinks differently. Last year, she paid her $250 housing deposit two days after she had received her notice. Then was disheartened to find out she was one of the people who had the highest lottery numbers. She believes the lottery system should be on a first come-first serve basis.
“I even had a friend last year who had a lottery number lower than mine and didn’t even pay $50 on the housing deposit. I didn’t think that it was fair at all,” Olayinka said.
Although the housing process begins soon, Temple University no longer guarantees housing to anyone. In letters sent to students and parents, Temple University changed its housing policy from guaranteeing freshman housing to not guaranteeing any student housing.
Wilmes explained Tyler and Ambler campuses would have separate selection processes. Housing on Tyler and Ambler is not that competitive as on Main campus. Students who have medical conditions will have to be accommodated first and then the rest of the student population will choose housing for next year.
“The major difference that people will experience is that people who are going to sophomores will pick first,” Wilmes said. “Because what we found last year is that people were very upset about what they felt [rising] sophomores were getting the last of what was available.”
The current freshman class will pick first followed by the current sophomores and then current juniors. Temple University Housing asked focus groups of students their opinion on who should receive housing. It used this information to determine the order of class housing selection.
At last year’s protest, freshman had protested against Temple University Housing on Broad Street in front of Mitten Hall. Many freshmen were outraged that they had no place to live and didn’t live within city limits so they could commute. A housing official had told one student to commute. The student had responded “From New York?”
Sophomore, Katrina Francis, believed that the university should take the mall they are building on Liacouras Walk and turn that into additional housing. Andrea Young, a sophomore BTMM major, is skeptical about the housing situation.
“I think they really are trying to get people to get off-campus,” said Young.
Samira Gomes, a sophomore biology major, lives in Presidential City Apartments. She finds the housing selection to be unfair especially to the class of 2003.
“That’s not right how they got a 1,000 and something beds for freshman and 500 sophomores,” Gomes said. “I think people out here [Presidential City] should have first priority.”
According to the letter sent to students from housing, the current freshman class has been allotted 1,632 beds. The current sophomore class has been given 588 beds while the current juniors have been given 456 beds.
Returning students are not allowed to move into the Jefferson building of Presidential City. Only transfer students are allowed to live in the Jefferson building. First-year students and upperclassmen will live in Franklin House.
Tileeyah Robinson, a freshman international business major, is thankful that she will be in the first class in housing selection, but she is still worried. She believes that housing that is set aside for the current freshman class is still not enough because the current freshman class exceeds the available room capacity.
“I feel bad for he sophomores in Presidential, but I’m glad that I’m not in the same situation,” said Robinson.