There are several weaknesses within the group housing assignment system that need to be addressed by both the school administration and Lawrence University Community Council (LUCC). As we lose some of our theme houses on N. Union St., it is important that we continue existing conversations about how housing selection can be improved.
Each year, students need to prepare a backup plan just in case their group housing request is not accepted. Should their group housing situation not come to fruition, students do not have adequate time to finalize their second choices, especially when those situations are further complicated with students studying abroad. Conducting the formal group and theme housing process at least a month earlier would provide a larger window of time for students to make their housing decisions.
The administration and LUCC should also consider changing which types of groups are eligible for different types of houses. Currently, LUCC-recognized student organizations may apply for formal group housing. When these groups do not receive a house, they, at times, apply for a theme house instead. This possibility is not fair to unrecognised groups whose only option is a theme house.
We support holding group housing selection sooner, as well as conducting formal group and theme housing selection at the same time. This would prevent groups from abusing the system by applying for a type of group housing that does not suit the group classification.
In the light of the replacement of six group houses that will no longer be used after this year with four small living areas in Colman Hall, there is less group housing available than years prior. This will cause group housing to become even more competitive than it was before. If more available theme housing will not be included in the near future, it is important that the housing selection process runs as fairly and smoothly as possible.