University News

Auxiliary housing offered to students on summer waiting list

Staff Writer
Friday, October 22, 2010

Ending up in summer assignment is a dreaded situation for many. But for some lucky students, it could mean living in Brown-owned auxiliary housing.

Each year, students who cannot obtain housing through the housing lottery enter the summer assignment process. This year, around 200 students were put through the process, Senior Associate Dean of Residential and Dining Services Richard Bova estimates.

There were several factors contributing to this year’s shortage of on-campus housing. Some undergraduate students who were granted off-campus housing permission later decided to live on campus, and there were a number of students readmitted to Brown who needed on-campus housing, Bova explained.

With an increase in University admission, housing administrators were once again faced with a shortage of on-campus housing. Some students ended up in temporary spaces, usually converted lounges or kitchens. Other students, typically rising sophomores and juniors, were offered vacancies in Brown-owned auxiliary properties.

These vacancies came up for two related reasons.

Every year, a number of rising seniors and juniors apply for off-campus housing. Those who are approved have a choice of living in Brown-owned auxiliary housing or renting through independent landlords, Bova said.

“Generally, every year we’re pretty much full on day one,” Bova said, referring to Brown-owned properties.

Several Brown-owned auxiliary properties became available later because some undergraduate students opted to live on campus even though they had off-campus permission, Bova said.

Brown also reserves certain auxiliary properties for graduate students, some of whom ultimately chose to live elsewhere. The Office of Residential Life offered these vacancies to students who did not have housing, said Gail Medbury, director of auxiliary housing.

“I think there’s a total of 22 students from the waitlist — from the summer housing assignment process — who were able to go into auxiliary properties,” Bova said.

Students assigned to auxiliary housing have access to the same accommodations as students who applied for off-campus Brown-owned housing, Bova added. That means access to custodial services, facilities management, campus police and medical services.

To Laura Ucik ’13, obtaining an auxiliary unit was “literally the best thing that could have happened” to her housing group. Unable to select housing through the lottery, they were placed in the summer assignment process. Ucik was not notified until a few days before school started where she was going to live. But it was worth the wait. “We were hoping for a (Graduate Center) suite, but this is 20 times better than a Grad Center suite,” she said.

Ucik and her housemates live in the three-floor house at 72 Charlesfield Street. Her housing group, which consists of six sophomores, inhabits the second and third floors. They all have a room to themselves, and each bathroom is shared by only two people.

“We live in a house, but we don’t have to pay our bills separately. It’s taken care of. We still have facilities if something breaks,” Ucik said.

Ucik said she does not mind that there are increased responsibilities, such as cleaning the house and washing the dishes. “It’s definitely worth it. You have a house to come back to.”

Allen Kramer ’13, who is in Ucik’s housing group, said he also very satisfied with the housing arrangements. “I think it’s a really good opportunity to start living independently earlier.”

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