No housing lottery for 2017 upperclassmen

by Laura King / Beacon Staff • October 6, 2016

1475735231 1430007302 boylston place dorm east rendering web.jpg
Plans for the 2 Boylston Place residence hall, which will house 375 students
Beacon Archives
Plans for the 2 Boylston Place residence hall, which will house 375 students
Beacon Archives

Juniors and seniors will not be offered on-campus housing next fall, according to an email to the Emerson community from Erik Muurisepp, associate dean and director of housing and residence and Jim Hoppe, vice president and dean of campus life.

First and second year students are guaranteed Emerson housing, and in years past upperclassmen have been able to enter a lottery to continue living in dormitories. But next year, when the college loses access to 360 beds due to renovations, there will be no lottery.

The college announced two years ago that the Little Building residence hall will close summer 2017 for renovations. To replace the almost 750 beds in the dorm, the college began construction last year on a 375-bed residence hall at 2 Boylston Pl.—projected to open next fall in conjunction with a new student dining center at 122-124 Boylston St. and 19 Boylston Pl.

To replace the remaining 375 beds, the college is looking to provide school-sponsored off-campus housing. One option is in Fenway, where the college is currently working with the Boston Planning and Development Authority to rezone a hostel for temporary dorm use. But this building, located at 12 Hemingway St., would only house 115 stories for the two years of renovations.

Muurisepp said in an interview that some of the rooms in the remaining dorms would be reconfigured to maximize space. These plans—formed by OHRL and Facilities Management—won’t be finalized until later this semester. But Muurisepp said their goal is to cause as little disruption as possible.

“We’re not going to be forcing triples and quads,” Muurisepp said.

Muurisepp said that, usually, about 250 juniors and seniors live on campus. The decision to eliminate the lottery, said Muurisepp, is to ensure that freshmen and sophomores are still guaranteed their housing.

Maggie Cannan, a junior visual and media arts student, went through the process of finding off-campus housing last year. She said it was difficult, and that she felt bad for the students that will have to go through it alone next year.

“If I hadn’t had a bunch of friends with me then it would’ve been really hard,” she said. “I think it’s important for the college to provide more resources about off-campus housing. They don’t really publicize it that well and I think there’s a lack of help.”

Muurisepp said that he is working with Off-Campus Student Services to schedule programs for students struggling to find housing. These programs, which Muurisepp said will be announced later this semester, will mostly be targeted to current sophomores.