On April 9th, students lined up at the Murray Student Center with hopes of receiving the best housing available. Housing day is one of Marist’s busiest days for both students and staff.
“It’s really nerve-racking when you’re in line,” said Brandon Indovina, a Marist freshman. “You don’t know what is going to be left when you get to the front. You just hope your first option will still be available.”
With over 5,000 students enrolled to Marist’s undergraduate program, a large sum of these students flood the student center each Spring to choose where they will live in the following semester. The process is put on the same day as Assessment Day for professors, a day where students have no class.
“Having no class for housing day is great,” said Conor Sheehan, a Marist junior. “But, it doesn’t take away from the stress of finding out where you’ll be living next year. I kept checking my phone to see what our group leader chose.”
Marist allows housing groups of up to eight individuals for on campus living. The college grants each a group two members to attend the selection process. These leaders are sent at a certain time slot with a tier list of places to live created by their group and an arrangement of who will be in each room.
“Once you get everything settled with your future housemates, the only scary part becomes hoping your first choice is still available,” said Andy Hines, a Marist freshman. “If you get that text from your leader saying that we only got our third choice, it’s a pretty big bummer.”
Students are given a time slot based on their group’s averaged amount of priority points. These are distributed based on a student’s grade point average, current housing cleanliness, on campus involvement, and other criteria. Groups with higher averages get to go earlier in the day, while others wait it out until it is their turn.
“My group got to go at 9:45 which was great,” said Sheehan. “Being juniors, we’re all pretty cemented into a bunch of clubs and organizations on campus so we were able to rack up some priority points. It helped us get our first choice for next year and we’re all really excited.”
There has been some dispute from Marist students about the concept of priority points and getting to the roots of people’s true involvements with certain clubs and organizations. Introductory club meetings are usually met with the question, “How many priority points does this club give out?”
“That’s the question we get the most and it’s not really close,” said Shannon Cover, president of Kappa Lambda Psi. “I understand why people want them so badly, but it does get annoying because you start to wonder if that’s all the new members truly care about.”
The debate has taken new heights, becoming a talking point during the course of the student body presidential election and of discussion across the campus. As for right now, Marist has taken no action on changing the housing selection process.
“It’s a debate that has come up a lot with some of the frustration that others are dealing with from the selection process,” said Hines. “I can definitely see it being changed within the next few years with all of the recent uproar.”