BECK: Hyped online pre-housing system a dud

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Averi-Alexya Beck is a junior mass communication major from Shreveport, La.

Change is often a good thing, but in many cases can turn out bad. 

In the efforts to becomes “more digital”, Grambling State University’s housing department upgraded their system for pre-housing. 

Students have gone from camping out (like it’s Black Friday) in a long line outside of the housing building to having the ability to choose your room at their fingertips. The system was implemented in the spring semester of 2018, then revised for this semester.

The system – just like getting how we used to rush to get in line – is on a first-come, first-served basis. If students are not online the second it opens, they are less than likely to receive the dorm they desire.

This method is literally survival of the fittest. 

This semester, the “good housing” (i.e. Steeple’s Glen, Bowen, Adams, etc.) reached their capacities within approximately the first 20 minutes of the pre-housing website being open. 

I am sure all housing was occupied within the first hour. It was not long after that that the housing office was filled with angry students attempting to figure out what happened.

I was a part of that crowd of students, but I did not raise as much of an uproar as others did. When I went online to pre-house, the only dorms left were traditional. No offense to those who stay in traditional dorms, but that would be the opposite of me living my best life. I am blessed enough for it not to be an issue to find and pay for an apartment because of my scholarships, steady incomes and family that is an hour away. 

I often think about those not as lucky, though. Some students travel to Grambling from hundreds of miles away, leaving their car, if they have one. Many of these students were unable to pre-house quick enough because of legitimate reasons. Some may be obedient students who do not use their phone in class and others may had other prior engagements. The fact of the matter is that they were not on the website between the hours of 9 and 10 am, so they were out of luck. 

These car less (and more than likely jobless) out-of-state students are the very ones who are now expected to find and pay for an apartment because they were busy handling their business elsewhere. Looking for somewhere to live should not be a student’s number one issue. Since it is an issue for many students, it’s time to search for solutions.

For the past couple of years, Grambling has had the first day of pre-housing set aside for those who want to stay in their current dorm and a separate day to “pre-house” for a new dorm. This year that did not happen and many students are asking why. Being given the opportunity to keep your dorm is something that should have been kept in the system. 

There should always be some type of priority when dealing with this system. It could be organized by first day is for those who want to keep their same room and second is for those who want to change. Both days could be organized even more into students with higher GPAs get first pick, then everyone else. I believe that would motivate students from all classifications who want to stay on campus to do their best. 

It should never be a free for all. That is how people start to act of character and more problems are created.