To acquire wisdom, one must observe

Brandeis’ housing process failures

In an email sent to students on April 26, Brandeis Vice President of Student Affairs Andrea Dine gave an update on the housing process. She notes “that housing selection can be fraught under the best of circumstances, particularly at campuses that can not guarantee housing to all undergraduates,” adding that she is “aiming to provide accurate information to support students no matter their housing status, and mitigate the impact of misinformation that has increased student anxiety.”


To explain the extremely short housing selection window this year, Dine noted that “although the room selection process was not changed this semester, the variables that impact it, including the number and percentage of students who wish to live on campus, the number of students needing accommodations, and the local housing market, have. These factors, for example, led to a very short housing selection window earlier this week.”


Dine also claimed that “students who applied for housing on time, and received housing accommodations from Student Accessibility Support have been offered an appropriate space, including rising juniors/seniors. Students with accommodations are notified directly with personal emails and/or phone calls so that if there are any misunderstandings about their needs, they can be addressed prior to their receiving a room assignment. At no time did a student lose their accommodation(s) or have their accommodation(s) denied by Community Living.”


However, on SideChat—an anonymous app based on college campuses—students posted emails they received from the university which stated their housing was not guaranteed. According to the screenshot of an email attached to the post, “Due to your selection number, we will not be able to offer you housing through the accommodation process.” The email goes on to note that if the student could not get “suitable housing” during the selection process they could instead apply to be on a waitlist. Though at the time the email was sent, the student could not be guaranteed housing, according to the post.


She added that “Community Living will continue working to offer students assignments in the coming weeks and months as spaces become available,” saying that “the approximately 230 students on the Pending Assignments list can expect updates and outreach from Community Living over the summer.” Additionally, “there will be no charge for withdrawing from the housing selection process for anyone who does not have a room assignment.”


Dine noted that “Students considering living off campus have expressed concerns about the application of financial aid,” saying that “SFS has prepared an estimate of the difference in cost if a student lives off campus or commutes from home; please note that financial aid will vary with these costs. Because each student’s circumstances are different, if you receive financial aid, and are considering living in an off-campus apartment or commuting from home, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with a financial aid counselor to discuss your personal financial aid situation as it applies to these housing options.”


Lastly, Dine told students that those of them “with outstanding questions or concerns are invited to open office hours with Vice President of Student Affairs Andrea Dine, Vice Provost Kim Godsoe, and Assistant Vice President of Student Financial Services, Sherri Avery this Friday, April 28 from 2-4 p.m. and Tuesday, May 2 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Student Affairs suite, room 106 in Gryzmish.”


The Brandeis Hoot reached out to Tim Touchette for comment, but did not hear back in time for publication.

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