Housing rules change for all students

Marquette has established new housing sign-up procedures to address fairness issues among incoming and returning students.

The Offices of Admissions and Residence Life have discussed changing housing assignment procedures for the past year and forwarded a finalized proposal to the senior administration the first week of September, said Jim McMahon, dean of Residence Life.

This year, incoming students have less time to send in their housing deposits and are selected randomly for an assignment date.

Other changes, McMahon said, include no squatters' rights, put into effect for the first time last year, and the order in which different years sign up for housing.

McMahon said the changes were made to ensure equality for all students who will live in residence halls.

"I think it's absolutely the way to go," said Roby Blust, dean of Undergraduate Admissions. "It is fair and it'll be clear to the students how we're going to proceed."

Under the new procedures, current freshmen signing up for sophomore housing will be able to sign up first, McMahon said. The step was instituted last year whereas in previous years seniors signed up first, followed by juniors, sophomores and freshmen.

McMahon said the new procedure makes sense because students are required to live in residence halls for the first two years at Marquette.

The housing assignment procedures are in some ways connected to admission procedures. In the past, the university had rolling admissions but this year will mark a new process.

Under the new procedures, incoming freshman applying for Fall 2005 must have their applications in by Dec. 1, according to Blust. The Office of Admissions will then pool the applications, review them and decide which students to accept.

McMahon estimated the accepted applicants will receive their letters sometime in January, at which point they can start to send in their housing deposits.

After all deposits have been sent in, the incoming students will be randomly assigned a number, according to McMahon. The administration will start going down the list and assign housing, keeping the students' preferences in mind.

In previous years, students had a longer time to submit their housing deposits and were assigned housing based on which deposits came in first because admissions were not pooled, McMahon said.

The previous policy was unfair because some students were accepted but waited until March or April to see if they got any financial aid before sending in their deposits, McMahon said.

The new way of assigning housing to incoming freshman mirrors the housing assignment process for freshman students signing up for sophomore housing, in which the returning students receive a randomly assigned sign-up date and choose a residence hall where they want to live.

McMahon said sometimes incoming freshmen may not get into Straz Tower or Mashuda Hall because the halls have already been filled with sophomores. He added although people may not get into the building they want, the administration will try to accommodate roommate preferences.

No matter what residence hall students get in, they will learn to live in it, according to Anne Deahl, associate provost for enrollment management.

"I think that once they move in, it's the students that make them a good place to live," Deahl said. "We really do believe that at Marquette we don't have any housing that is worse than the others."