There are a few things Temple students can be assured of every spring.
Flowering trees, warm rain and another housing shortage.
According to statistics released by the Housing office, of the 2,888 students seeking housing for the 2002-03 academic year, only 2,425 will actually be allotted beds.
Further breakdown shows that 225 sophomores, 147 juniors and 91 seniors will not receive housing accommodations.
While that may not seem alarming, those are only numbers. The people those numbers represent are currently facing troubling questions concerning their living situation.
Every year, students interested in obtaining housing are assigned a lottery number. Seemingly, this impartial system is completely objective and, therefore, totally fair.
Unfortunately for some, the system is working against them. Assigning students a number basically turns them into a number; the system does not take into account any of the outstanding circumstances that may prevent students from continuing their education at Temple without housing.
Commuting to school is not an option when the student is from New York, New Mexico or even Harrisburg. An apartment may be too expensive or the affordable area may be too dangerous.
Does Temple suggest they discontinue their education here and transfer to a more convenient location? Maybe they do not look past the numbers to get to those sticky questions.
Maybe the lottery process needs to be changed in order to give students who are not within commuting distance an advantage.
Students from surrounding counties such as Bucks and Montgomery have options; they may not be enviable or convenient, but they can get to class without a room in Temple Towers.
A junior or senior from Nebraska subsisting on financial aid and whatever their part-time job pays them cannot. There are no options; housing is a necessity and the objective process Temple uses is inherently unfair.
Off-campus dorms like Presidential City and Franklin House are effective temporary solutions to a constant problem, but they are not the future. Buildings like “1300” are the future and if Temple wants a thriving on-campus population, that is how they should house them.
So far, Temple’s response to this year’s shortage rings a little hollow. Construction is continuing on a Temple-owned building on 10th and Montgomery that would be used to house students who did not receive room assignments during the lottery.
Here’s the catch: rent for a one-bedroom starts at $900 a month. Utilities may not be included, according to a representative from Philadelphia Management, the company running the building for Temple.
This is hardly an option. The rent is exorbitant considering the area, despite a short two-block walk to campus. Many students rely on financial aid to pay for housing; while the money would be available during the semester, students may have trouble finding rent money for the semester breaks.
If Temple wants these students to stay on campus, they need to see them as people and not as a random lottery number.