Here’s what you should know about Residence Life changes


(Photo: Tanner Krueger/The Simpsonian)

by Randy Paulson, News Editor

INDIANOLA, Iowa — As residential students are beginning to decide on where they will live next year, they can expect a few changes in how the housing selection process will work.

According to an email announcement from Dean of Students Luke Behaunek, students had the option of drawing their own lottery numbers for housing selection.

In a separate interview, Behaunek said, “It’s mainly to offer students a better understanding of how they’re created and to have a role in that creation if they’d like.”

Since the normal method of randomly assigning lottery numbers occurs behind the scenes, he said students don’t always trust it or understand it. However, he clarified that students who choose to draw their own number won’t benefit more or less than those who choose not to.

“There’s no advantage or disadvantage to drawing your own number over the random Excel document. The number ranges are the same,” Behaunek said.

Behaunek also said up to eight single-occupant rooms will be offered in Picken Hall and two-occupant rooms will be offered in Buxton Hall.

He explained that since some rising sophomores plan on moving into Greek houses or moving into apartments with upperclassmen, there would be room for more flexibility for sophomores looking to live in Buxton or Picken.

“Instead of leaving some rooms empty, we thought of ways that we feel offer additional options to students and make good use of the buildings,” Behaunek said.

He said Residence Life does not yet know how many two-person rooms will be available in Buxton but that it will likely be enough to meet demand. If not, he said the lottery system would then prioritize who is offered the option.

Behaunek said living in either a single or double room will cost an additional $500 per semester on top of the normal rate for residence halls, which is the same rate as the single-bedroom Detroit apartments.

Since student demand and interest in different buildings fluctuates each year, as does projected residential student population, Behaunek said the number of single rooms in Picken and doubles in Buxton will likely change year to year.

“I think the nice thing about the way we built our housing system is that, even if there’s no interest in (the single or double rooms), it doesn’t hurt us in any way,” said Behaunek. “This is really an opportunity without risk to us, and that’s why we thought it would be a good option for next year.”

Lottery numbers for student housing will be posted in the Student Development office on Monday. More information about the housing application process can be found on Residence Life’s page on the Simpson College website.