CUP OF JOE: Senior Housing Was a Mess


Ryan Sarbello

The Commons house many seniors on campus each year.

Joe Adams, Opinion Columnist

Villanova’s housing has officially been assigned to rising seniors, and students are unhappy, to say the least.

On Monday, Oct. 31, students eagerly waited for the housing to come out, anxious to see if they got a spot to live on campus for next year. When the clock struck midnight and Tuesday came, no message had been sent. 

On Tuesday afternoon, Residence Life sent an update, stating that “Villanova Residence Life staff members are working with our housing management software team to finalize this process. Lottery numbers will be available tomorrow, in the late afternoon.”

Unfortunately for us, Wednesday came and went with no update on our lottery status. I felt frustrated and completely out of the loop.

Finally, on Friday, Nov. 4, the Housing website updated, and we got notified of our lottery numbers. Unfortunately for so many of my peers, that lottery number did not come, and they did not receive housing for next year.

This is frustrating on multiple levels. Because housing selection started on Tuesday, Nov. 8, this gave students one weekend to figure out where to live off campus. The process has been confusing, and students have been scrambling to figure out what they are going to do next year. 

Some roommates have even been separated from those who they submitted their contract with, which has been a huge frustration for many students.

“We were told we would be entering the lottery as a group,” one rising senior said. “We got split up and only two of us got in.”

I got a lot of other information from rising seniors, as I asked people to reach out to me on Instagram with their experience with housing.

“The communication (or lack thereof) made me feel disrespected and forgotten,” one student said.

Another student noted that the “lack of transparency on the system” was frustrating, which was a common theme in the messages that I received. Someone else wrote, “I feel like I’m hearing different information from everyone. I am left all on my own.”

Another said there was a clear “lack of transparency on the system.” 

This was concerning to hear, and it made me think of why there was not more housing available for students on campus in general. 

Residence Life has released the following statement:

“Villanova guarantees three consecutive years of housing to students who enter the University as first-year residential students. There are also a select number of seniors with Presidential and athletic scholarships that guarantee these students a fourth year of housing. In order for the University to honor this commitment to students, Residence Life is not able to guarantee housing to all seniors.

“The number of rising seniors that can be accommodated on campus in a given year is contingent upon the number of guaranteed students and the number of total available beds on campus. Each year, Villanova is committed to offering on-campus housing to as many rising seniors as we possibly can. In addition to the lottery, we also monitor the housing waitlist throughout the course of the year as we receive cancellations.”

It is clear that with more people being admitted each year and bigger class sizes, senior housing is an issue that will continue to confuse people. The Commons, understood by many in the years since it opened in 2019 as meant for seniors, will increasingly be filled with underclassmen, with more and more seniors being split up or not given housing at all. 

Other students voiced their concerns, with one rising senior saying, “I hope they figure out housing by the end of the semester so seniors know if they have it.” 

Many students also said that they did not realize they could be split up from their roommates in the process of the housing lottery.

“We were told that roommate groups entered the lottery together, but my group got split up,” one rising senior said.

“People should not have to compete with their own roommates for a lottery number,” another said.

I wholeheartedly agree with my peers. We were never told that we could be separated from our other roommates for senior year, which differs from the previous housing processes. This is problematic because now, students are stuck with not many choices for their final year at Villanova. 

It is evident that housing for seniors was a mess. Multiple friends told me that calling and emailing Residence Life in the days following the housing lottery has not solved their issues. I hope that for the future, Residence Life will change the process for housing for seniors so that they can have a stress-free final year on campus.