High yield, miscommunication may mean housing shortage
While students were reveling over the increased prestige an admissions rate in the 6% range brings Columbia, it appears the pool of admitted students is still likely to yield a higher-than-ever number of entrants into the first-year class of 2015. As a result, Housing may have to undertake last-minute changes to ensure enough space exists for all students living on campus in 2011-12, and may have to move some students from their initial selections. This comes via a private conversation with members of the Housing staff at the conclusion of today’s portion of Suite Selection in John Jay lounge, and they report that an email is likely to go out to students that have already picked into dorms that may be affected. If you receive this email, we’d be much obliged if you would forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can update this post in full. We’ll also have a post later tonight on potential effects on people who dropped to General Selection under circumstances that may no longer exist. UPDATE: We’ve just been sent the email—you can read it after the jump.
From: Housing Services
Date: Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 4:56 PM
Subject: Room Selection Registration Information
To: “[REDACTED" <[REDACTED]@columbia.edu>
We apologize for the abrupt nature of this email, but we felt it important to be as forthright as possible with students involved in the Housing process about a series of changes we may have to undertake in the coming months.
As you know, this is the first time in three years that we have not opened a new building for selection during the Housing lottery. (In 2009-10 we introduced Harmony, and last year we introduced a brownstone on 113th Street.) Last year, we overestimated the yield from the pool of admitted students, and were left with a significant number of empty rooms for this school year. While it is always our desire to provide a range of choices to students participating in the lottery, we did not feel this year that adding a large number of new rooms would be necessary on top of last year’s changes. With responses to this year’s offers of admission already outpacing those of past years by a wide margin, we now believe we were mistaken.
As a result, it is likely that we will need as many as 50 more rooms for first-years than initially anticipated. While we wish to respect the desires and selections of all Columbia students, we hope you understand that the comfort of and community within the first-year class must be paramount. With that in mind, our likely solution will be to make additional rooms in Furnald available for first-year housing. Should that prove insufficient, we may also consider making the bottom floors of Broadway, the closest dorm to the center of campus after those already used by first-years, a new space for first-years as well. (The LLC in Hartley and Wallach will remain as is.)
For the time being, we are sending this email only to people who have selected into Furnald or Broadway during Suite Selection already. We know this presents a number of potential problems for you, and thus we wish to communicate as much information as we can in a timely manner. If required to move students, those such as yourself that have already selected will have first choice as to where to go. This is likely to include the brownstones on 114th Street being vacated by fraternities at the conclusion of this school year, and may also include space in other brownstones that Columbia will clear to make room for its undergraduate community as necessary.
Once we have a better picture of the space we may need, we will send an update to all students picking in the General Selection round warning them that we cannot absolutely guarantee that rooms picked in Furnald or Broadway will be available come fall.
We apologize for the enormous inconvenience this may cause, and ask that you stay patient while we work with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to resolve the matter. If you have any questions, please respond to this email and we will get back to you as quickly as we can.
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