Dear Reslife,

Dear Reslife,

I have been a student at Stevens for almost two years now and I have experienced firsthand the effects of the changes that the Office of Residence Life has implemented. As a freshman, I entered Stevens accepting that my underclassmen status limited my options in terms of classes and housing but I accepted these terms in the hopes that someday I would be able to reap the benefits of my impending seniority. And so, when it came time to choose housing for my sophomore year, I opened up myStevens with my subpar lottery number and chose the only available housing option that was given, a waitlist for an unknown location off campus. I had to accept these vague and ambiguous terms of the Stevens housing contract because commuting for me was not an option. Imagine the smiles on my parent’s faces when I told them I didn’t know where I would be living next year but canceling housing would mean paying up front anyway. But I sucked it up and accepted my situation because what authority did I have as an underclassman to say what I wanted, how I wanted and when I wanted it. As a sophomore, I was definitely not ready to live in an actual apartment.  I had no idea how a stove worked, I had multiple fiascos with the vacuum and I was almost always late to class. I got a meal plan because of this but it was a 25 minute walk to Pierce so in addition I was constantly hungry. Sophomore year was tough enough as it is figuring out electricity and magnetism, now I had to  figure out how to adult too. So, for my third year I was pretty set on living on campus once again. It had closer proximity to my classes, my friends, and food, all good things. Finally, I could reap the benefits of my seniority. Imagine the surprise of me and my friends when the office of residence life released their change in policy, giving rising freshmen priority for on campus housing. I was forced back into the lottery pool of off campus housing with another bottom of the barrel lottery number.  The campus is going to become a freshman and sophomore only zone now, kicking out the students who have been at the school and on the campus the longest. Stevens is a campus that stresses the importance of diversity amongst its students. It encourages upperclassmen to mentor the underclassmen and help them find their place on campus, in class, in work. The students who have been here the longest and have contributed the most to the school are going to be pushed aside in favor of a new system created by people who have been as this school for what, barely a year. We, as the students, run the clubs, hold the reviews, put on the shows. The longer we’ve been at the school, the more involved we are and the more we impact it. We not only create the culture but preserve it throughout our time here at Stevens. I thought seniority was supposed to imply privilege and respect. Now I’m being pushed off the campus I’ve barely been given the chance to step foot on at all. Students should be given a fair chance of choosing where they want to live, not have to settle. I fully understand that Stevens cannot give everyone of its students a place on campus but the fact that I, as a sophomore, wasn’t even given a chance to live on campus really upset me. I personally feel like I was overlooked and pushed aside in favor of someone who doesn’t even know the campus.  I feel like I’m in an episode of Stranger Things, up is down and down is up. We are all in a parallel universe. I guess I’ll never know what it feels like to live in a River suite.

Sincerely,

A sophomore