By Lisa Lavoie
As a soon-to-be-senior, I expected to end my junior year thrilled for what next year holds: senior only events, “final hoorah” parties, and of course, seniority. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely excited about all those things that come with being a senior. But, is seniority at Eastern all it’s cracked up to be? Not when it comes to the student housing process, if you ask me. Students today have to rely on a Priority Point System to tell them where they will land in housing opportunities. In other words, being a senior doesn’t really mean anything at all when it comes to housing. Which just begs the question, what happened to seniority?
Eastern has only very recently switched to a Priority Point based system for their housing process. Not too many years ago the selection was just based on good old luck; a lottery system. The switch from a lottery system to a priority point system was designed to respect six specific categories: academic excellence, engagement, inclusion, integrity, empowerment, and social responsibility.
As for the academic excellence part, I do have to admit that as a senior you will automatically outnumber the underclassmen with how many credits you have. But, in the same category the process cubes your current cumulative GPA. If you’re not the best student academically, you could find yourself stuck in a less than spectacular residence hall, regardless of being a senior. What’s more frustrating than seeing a junior live in an upscale residence hall when you can’t? Seeing a sophomore living in an upscale residence hall when you can’t.
You’re given a list of all the priority points you’ve earned that academic year and that is what determines your pick time. This year I’m falling under the 500th pick time category, surely which isn’t too bad in a school as large as Eastern. However, I can’t help but feel angry when I reflect on the fact that there isn’t any real sense of seniority when it comes to housing selection.
I feel like many seniors would back me up on when it comes to feeling a lack of seniority in the case of housing.