Sarah Denholm had never lived in a city.
The sophomore South Dakota native was prepared to travel halfway across the country to attend Temple. However, before she made the trip, housing had to be secured.
But dealing with the Office of University Housing, which the English major described as the “most frustrating black hole of the university,” left her frustrated and concerned about her housing situation.
A week and a half before the transfer student’s move to Philadelphia, Denholm was told her new housing assignment would be in Presidential City, one of Temple’s off-campus dormitories.
Denholm said she feels “secluded and isolated” at Presidential and it has become hard for her to become involved in activities on campus.
“Transfers are coming in having had an unsatisfactory experience at a previous college,” she said, “and then they get bad treatment by the housing office here. You can’t win anywhere.”
Denholm was just one of the many hopeful students trying to obtain housing for next year during Monday’s lottery selection of the one-person apartments in “1300” and the six-person apartments in Temple Towers.
Temple announced there would again be a housing shortage next year, leaving many students who depend on housing out in the cold. While officials from housing were keeping quiet about the shortage, grumbling students were more than willing to talk.
“Every year this is the most disorganized process,” said junior anthropology major Alexandria Provost.
Junior JPRA major Monique Duncan feels the junior class in particular had been given few options during the housing process.
“Every year, my class has been screwed,” she said. When I came here, seniors got priority, then juniors, and then sophomores. Then, the next year they decided to switch it up and reverse the order.”
While everyone seemed to have a gripe with housing, a few also had solutions.
Sophomores Ben Brooks and Laura Wald thought co-ed rooms could be a good solution to the problem. They said they were researching other schools, similar in size and location to Temple, who offer such accommodations.
“It would give students more options,” Brooks said. “If two co-ed students decide to live together, why shouldn’t they? It would be like ‘Saved by the Bell: The College Years.'”
Duncan, on the other hand, felt out-of-state students should be given priority in housing.
There were students who could look on the bright side despite losing out on their first choice for housing.
“It’s not that bad,” said sophomore Rob Young. “This is just the way it worked out. We have a back up plan.”
Students concerned with bed space were less than impressed with Temple’s attempt to make campus more convenient and comfortable through construction projects like Park Mall.
While Duncan said that new dorms like 1300 should have been built higher than five floors, Simpson said the space on Park Mall should have been used as dorm space, not a shopping plaza.
“Screw 7-Eleven,” she said. “I can’t live in 7-Eleven.”
Carrie Tolerico can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org