Upperclassmen struggle to find housing


Artie Bennett

Students sit in the Res Quad on March 29, 2022. A vigil will be held weekly for students in the res quad over situations in the Middle East.

Breanna Henry, Staff Writer

Upperclassmen say they are going to have a harder time finding somewhere to live for next year because first-year students are taking most of the available space in the residence halls.


Upperclassmen have to gamble at a chance to live on campus by entering residential life’s lottery via its housing lottery application, but filling out the paperwork won’t necessarily put a student in a room, according to Jay Davis, associate director of residential life. 


With underclassmen being prioritized, upperclassmen must fill out a housing lottery application, which doesn’t mean that they’ll receive a room, according to Davis. With rent prices rising in the region, many students say they’re worried about not being able to find off campus housing. 


When upperclassmen submit this application, they will be placed in a lottery. From that lottery, a limited number of students are chosen to live on campus. 


After they complete the application, they find out via email if they were picked to live on campus or not. 


Marketing major and rising senior Lauren Gill said that she thinks athletes who are upperclassmen should get priority.


“We swimmers have practice early in the morning, 6 a.m., and I don’t want to be walking in the dark at the peak of the morning to practice,” Gill said. “It could be dangerous.” 


Gill also said that she has late night meetings for her business fraternity, and she doesn’t feel safe walking home in the dark after the meetings. Gill said that she can’t afford to get an apartment off-campus and that it would also be better for her financially to live on campus.


For upperclassmen in need of the space in one of Loyola’s residence halls for reasons like those Gill mentioned, residential life is also giving upperclassmen the option to submit an extra document, the special circumstances appeal, in order to increase their chances of being chosen in the lottery. But the lottery still controls the choices, and the appeal still doesn’t guarantee housing on campus.


Kaliah Rodgers, Spanish and public relations junior, submitted an appeal to residential life. She told The Maroon that she explained in her appeal that finances were also a concern for her. 


“I literally wrote that if I don’t get to live on campus, I do not know if I can keep going to school at Loyola,” she said. “That kind of hit me pretty hard because this is only my second year. I don’t have another option, I hadn’t thought of (finding off campus housing) because I was never told I would have to do that. It sucks.”


In addition to an appeals process, students who were not selected in the housing lottery had to apply to be on a “wishlist.” As space opens up between May and July, those students will be taken off the list and awarded housing, according to Davis. 


And in the meantime to settle upperclassmen concerns, Davis said SGA is a good resource. She said the organization suggested some alternate options for students in a town hall.  


Davis suggested that students looking for off-campus housing check the commuter students association webpage to find more resources, as well. The university is also working with a third party company to develop an off-campus housing website to connect students with leasing agents and apartment complexes, Davis said. 


“We are working to get this live and out to students as quickly as possible,” she said.


Rodgers said that she’s relied on her faith to get through the housing process.


“God has taken care of me up until this point, especially when (COVID-19) happened,” she said. “I am concerned, I won’t push those feelings aside. But as a believer, when I read (the email that declined me housing,) I had to give it to the Lord.”