Students considering the upperclassmen apartments for next year met last week with Chad Coleman, director of Residence Life, to discuss the new housing selection process.

The new system, initiated by Coleman, is now an online application. Apartment selection will open in the middle of March to students who graduated high school in 2009 or before. The following week, Residence Life will update the available apartments, and 2010 graduates can begin applying. 2011 graduates can apply the following week.

Previously, the apartment selection was based on a random lottery system that often left students scrambling at the last minute.

“When called to select an apartment they had little time to figure out plan B," said Coleman.  "I have witnessed a number of students having a meltdown when placed in this predicament. Students have complained in the past that they always seem to get a raw deal in the lottery by drawing a high number and having little choice at the end."

Mike Holland, a senior, agrees. “It was really stressful because we were never really sure whether we were going to get the apartment we wanted," Holland said. "We were very close to not getting an apartment because we wanted a triple and by the time we got our chance, there was only one left."

While the old lottery system was arbitrary, the new process honors seniority and preparation. Students who have their deposits submitted and community standards statement written will have a better chance with this first-come-first-serve approach.

However, this system has its downsides as well. If the small apartments are all taken by the time a group is able to select, they must seek housing elsewhere on campus, such as Kulp. And similar to the old system, a group’s application will not be considered until all deposits are submitted.

“Procrastinators may struggle with this new application," said Coleman, who is hopeful for the new system. "We only have a few small apartments available so the early bird gets the worm."

Coleman added, "Not one single student thought the old lottery way was a better way of assigning apartments. I'm excited for this change."