Undergraduate suites in the University Village Housing buildings have filled up, a few days into the housing assignment selection period.
Construction on the USC Village began in 2014 and will be completed in Fall 2017. The $700 million project will include a new residential college — the McCarthy Honors College — for freshmen and four buildings for undergraduate housing. Some students cite the excitement around the USC Village as the reason they applied to live there in the fall.
“The University was hyping the Village up so much and making it seem like a big deal,” said Sophia Comeau, a freshman majoring in journalism. “They made it seem like you should want to live in the village.”
Returning undergraduates who want to live in university housing must participate in the general lottery. After submitting an online application, these students are given a selection time through a random lottery.
According to Director of Housing Keenan Cheung, bed spaces in the USC Village buildings filled up by the end of Tuesday. While Cheung says USC Housing anticipated the high level of demand, many students didn’t. Eden Roehr, a freshman majoring in law, history and culture, signed a contract with her friends for a loft in USC Village Building No. 9.
“We wanted a two-bedroom, four-person room. We also would have been happy with a six-man or a five-man, but all that was left were lofts,” Roehr said. “Now we’re debating if we want to keep our spot in the village.”
Students have voiced that the current selection system is flawed. Individuals with earlier selection times can secure a suite not only for themselves but also for their roommates, regardless of when their roommates’ selection times occur. Cheung maintains that the current system is the best way to assign housing.
“Nothing changed with our processes with the addition of the village,” Cheung said. “Being that our lottery system is assigned completely by random, we believe it is the fairest way and gives any person that wants to live together a better chance.”
Some students believe there are ways to reform the selection system for the future, including limiting the number of roommates an individual can reserve bed spaces for, or opening a limited number of spots for each building a day — like how class registration is set up — so that students who have much later selection times still have a chance at getting the option they want.
Eager for a chance to live in USC Village, some students have posted in the “University of Southern California Class of 2020” Facebook page, offering money for a bed space in a suite, or to swap suites.
Sam Hardy, a freshman majoring in psychology, will be living in a two-bedroom, four-person suite in USC Village Building No. 6 and feels fortunate that one of her roommates was able to select housing at 8:30 a.m. on Monday. She says that she’s noticed tension among her peers.
“It’s cutthroat,” Hardy said. “You don’t want to promote that you got it because people are so angry about not getting it.”