The Housing Crisis: University Crossings Edition
Ah, here it is, ladies and gentlemen. It is that time of year. No, I am not talking about midterm season because, let’s be honest — at Drexel, that feels like every week.
The hellish hallmark of January and February that I am referring to is housing. Regardless of who you are and what year you are in, you’ve probably had first-hand experience with, or know about, the struggle of trying to pin down a housing plan before it all turns into a nightmare.
We are all aware that once the date of lease-signing falls upon us, it is an every-man-for-himself, ruthless race to the finish line. It is nearly 5 p.m. and, as the email stated, time for your lease to arrive. Your heart is racing, your hand is shaking and your eyes are glued to your phone as you refresh your Outlook email: when the lease comes, you are ready to pounce.
Unfortunately, as prepared as we all might have been, it is very clear that this process was far from impartial. I am tempted to make a very heated argument based on personal experience, but from an objective and calm-minded standpoint, it seems apparent that there is no real system to how these floor plans are allocated to applicants, especially to those who are on the waiting list.
Two girls, whom I hoped to have as suitemates next year, received their leases nearly 15 minutes after I received mine. Though this may seem insignificant, it makes all the difference in the world of frantic, frenzied freshmen. As they were filling out their leases, they were informed that they were unable to secure their spots. I, on the other hand, was fortunate enough to have done so. But this leaves me with a dilemma: what am I to do, now that I am pretty much on my own?
My friends reached out to University Crossings offices. After multiple attempts to climb up the ladder-style hierarchy of authorities in charge of this circus of a process, they were redirected to Chestnut Square offices, in hopes of alleviating their stress over not having a secure housing plan for next year.
Do not ask me why this was what UCross administrators resorted to. I myself am asking why on Earth this was their go-to response.
The final point that I am trying to make with this small tirade is this:
Dear UCross, we are not asking you to secure us positions in the apartments that you offer. Although that would be a dream come true, it is clear that is impractical. But in the interest of allocating resources in a justifiable manner, and upholding an agreeable standard of customer service, here are two suggestions. One, publicize a system of room assignments that clarifies how students are receiving housing, so that we are not left here trying to figure out where we went wrong. Two, have a plan of redirection so if an employee is unable to help a student in need, they are guaranteed to find someone who can.
Cheers, American Campus Communities, and here’s to a better housing application process next year. Fingers crossed.