If anyone was not already aware, I recently had a personal experience with the iHousing room assignment process that left me quite dissatisfied. To respond to my complaints, Seth Weinshel, the director of assignments for GW Housing Programs has graciously agreed to sit down for an interview with GWBlogspot.
To let everyone have some important background information, I have criticized GW Housing Programs in the past even before I had this issue. In February I chastised the department for what I perceived as a misinformation campaign as to why admissions tour guides no longer show Thurston Hall to prospective freshmen. I won't go into too much detail here so that you can read on your own, but I basically thought that there was a much more obvious reason that room prices were lowered for the huge dormitory with a not-so-savory reputation than Housing let on. Two weeks later, I followed up on the story with another post about some of the issues I've encountered in my own room such as the chronic mold in my bathroom. In this post I cautioned those prospective freshmen not to be seduced by those lower prices and showed why I thought they were lower than normal.
With my most recent experience, I did not receive the assignment I wanted. But more importantly, I noticed that I was part of a larger population that did not get what it desired. I've spoken with several of these people who are genuinely upset at not receiving their preference or not even receiving *any* housing assignment at all.
Having said that, I'd like to open the floor to the entire GW student body to ask questions to Mr. Weinshel. The interview, which will feature these questions as well as some of my own, will be taped and then put onto GWBlogspot after it is completed so that everyone may view it.
Some of the questions that I have for Seth include:
1. Is GW Housing Programs actively working to design a system that would grant a preferred assignment to more than 80% of the applicants that go through the system? (By "preferred assignment", I mean one of the top three preferences put on the iHousing application.)
2. What accounts for the seemingly huge waitlist for rising sophomores? How can this be alleviated so that people are not left without housing for upwards of potentially three weeks (as Housing Programs told a friend of mine that she would be without an assignment for this period of time).
3. Does GW Housing Programs think, in general, that a success rate of 80% is acceptable?
There are other issues with GW Housing Programs that others have expressed concern about on this blog. Around the time of my first post on the issue, Alex discusses the inability of Macintosh users to navigate the iHousing application.
In the past I have written on issues ranging from stress over the approaching final exams to my concerns over people who personify "trendy activism" to the difficulties in operating a student organization like GW Votes. Everyone is welcome to read my previous posts to see what and how I think.
But the main point is that now, the floor is open to all GW students to post questions for an upcoming interview with Seth. Please post these in the comment section so that I will be able to incorporate them into the interview along with some of my own.