Glitch in System Causes Housing Overflow


(Jessica Hanley/The Observer)

Freshmen students at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) addressed their issues when registering and signing up to dorm in McMahon Hall for fall 2014. Such problems with the registration process caused students to be put into housing overflow.

In early March, students who wanted to dorm in McMahon Hall were required to choose their roommates and register for a room. However, for certain students, the process of registering their selected rooms and roommates was especially difficult and caused many to be forced into overflow. Director of Residential Life Jenifer Campbell was not available for comment.

According to resident Heath Hampton, FCLC ’17, housing overflow is when students are chosen randomly from a large pool of other students, to then be placed in a room to dorm together. “When we’re in overflow, it would be unlikely that we’d get to room with the group of people we want to room with next semester.”

Maria Pely, FCLC ’17, said that it was hard to register for a room with a select group of people because there did not seem to be enough rooms available at McMahon. “Registering for housing was very competitive this semester,” she said. “For my situation with my friends and roommates, there was not enough room for the six of us in a six-person dorm. If there is not a room for my friends and I, then we would be forced into housing overflow.”

Anabelle Declement, FCLC ’17, agrees with Pely in how difficult it was to register with her group in a certain room. “I feel like [Residential Life] did not open up a lot of rooms for us to register to dorm.”

According to students who signed up to dorm in McMahon, there was a glitch in the computer program, which was used to help students register and sign up for rooms with their groups.
Housing policy only permits groups of four students to sign up for a room that fits solely four individuals. However, the computer program’s glitch allowed groups of four to have access to register for a six-person dorm. “When students were registering, the computer program allowed for some groups of four people to be put into a room of six [people]. Six-person rooms were then initially filled with four people; this caused a lot of the rooms to get filled up quickly. If that happened, then [those students] would get dumped into housing overflow.”

The computer program’s flexibility allowed Hampton’s group of four to sign up in a dorm exclusively for six people. “When we were signing up for a room, we were supposed to get a group together. [My roommates and I] found a room of four openings, but it was a room of six; my group of four filled up the four spots.”

A similar situation happened to Declement, in that the computer program for choosing the rooms in McMahon permitted her group of four to sign up for a room only for six students.
“[My roommates and I] received an email back from Residential Life, saying that we filled the housing application incorrectly,” Hampton said. “But according to our knowledge, we followed all the directions [on the computer program] correctly. Other people experienced the same problem as us.”

According Pely, she and her roommates were given direction by Residential Life to try again. “Hopefully my group and I will be put in the same room; we wouldn’t want to be put into overflow.”