Many rising sophomores were unable to select housing in this year’s regularly scheduled housing lottery due to a lack of availability and will instead enter a secondary process the week of April 25, according to an email sent to affected students Tuesday by the Office of Residential Life. The shortage of rooms listed in StarRez — a housing portal used by ResLife — was due to its inability to match all participants to a residence appropriate for their housing group size, according to Brenda Ice, senior associate dean and senior director of residential life.
This year, the same pool of housing locations was available to all upper-division students regardless of class year, in contrast to previous years in which certain dorms were reserved for sophomores. But, within StarRez, all listed housing was filled by Tuesday afternoon.
Rising sophomores whose designated selection times came after available housing had already been filled were unable to select a dorm through StarRez. Some students told The Herald that the experience has led to confusion and worry.
“Once we got in (the portal), we saw that no rooms were available,” said Oliver Villanueva ’25, who will now join the secondary selection process. “We were anxious and we weren’t sure what was going to happen.”
“Honestly, it was very surprising to me that Brown wasn’t able to provide housing,” said Daisy Martinez ’25, who is also eligible for the secondary housing selection. “I was panicking because I didn’t know where we were going to live.”
In the secondary selection process, ResLife will “make an adjustment such that you can modify your group size or go in as an individual and still be able to find space,” Ice explained. Some students’ inability to secure housing “is no indication that we have run out of bed space.”
Additional beds for students will be made available before the secondary housing lottery for a variety of reasons. For example, spaces that could “potentially have been held for accommodations … are no longer needed,” and some juniors whose requests are currently under review will be permitted to live off campus, Ice explained.
ResLife will work to maintain group formations so “students still can have the experience they want to have by living with or near those individuals,” Ice said. But “there will come a point where the group size configuration just simply doesn't meet what we have.”
Ice clarified that the secondary process is an extension of regular housing selection. It is separate from the late housing assignment process, which is reserved for students who fail to select housing.
Martinez and Villanueva told The Herald they were relieved by the secondary housing selection process, though they still cited some uncertainty.
“I’m relieved that they have a plan to give us housing,” Martinez said.
“It gave me a bit of reassurance,” Villanueva added, who noted that he is unsure about the details of the upcoming process. “I just feel like I have no clue what they’re going to do.”
Neil Mehta is a University News section editor covering Institutional Equity and Student Affinity at The Brown Daily Herald. He also serves as the 133rd Editorial Board's design chief. He is a sophomore from Stony Brook, NY studying public health. Outside the office, you can find Neil baking, reading YA fiction and playing Tetris.