Students left without spring leave-term housing

by Mika Jehoon Lee | 3/7/17 2:15am


The Morton Hall fire last fall, combined with high enrollment, means some leave-term students on campus for the spring do not have housing.

by Saphfire Brown / The Dartmouth

Around 56 on-campus leave-term students, who remain in Hanover to work or do research but are not enrolled as students, will be without spring term housing due to high enrollment and the Morton Hall fire last fall, according to director of undergraduate housing Rachael Class-Giguere.

Class-Giguere said that this is the first spring since her arrival at Dartmouth in 2000 that the College has had to reject leave-term housing applications. Anticipating fewer beds would be available this spring, the housing office sent an email to all winter term student residents in January encouraging them to take a leave term in the summer or winter instead of the spring if they had originally planned to request leave-term housing in the spring. She added that she does not expect the housing office to face this issue in future winter and spring terms unless there is a substantial shift in student enrollment patterns.

An almost even number of seniors and juniors, in addition to a few sophomores, applied for leave-term housing this spring. Class-Giguere said that if on-term students cancel their housing assignments, the housing office will then offer housing to on-term students who submitted their housing applications late and leave-term seniors on the waitlist. According to Class-Giguere, nearly half of all leave-term seniors asked to be on the waitlist. The housing office notified all on-term students of their spring term housing assignments on March 3, and has not received any cancellations yet.

Alexis Wallace ’17, who plans to take a leave term this spring to work in the area, said that the lack of housing put her in a really tight situation.

Wallace lived in the Alpha Phi sorority house last fall but moved to Russell Sage Hall this term. She said that she planned to return to live in APhi this spring, but one of her sorority members forgot to confirm her place on the house roster. Wallace said that she thought she could stay in her room in Russell Sage this spring because she would be working for at least 30 hours every week. According to the housing office’s website, students can apply for leave-term housing if they do research or work for an average of 30 hours or more per week. Wallace said she was notified by the housing office a few weeks ago that she would not be given housing in the spring.

After the notification, Wallace said that she reached out to coed Greek organizations, undergraduate societies, affinity houses and users of Dartlist, but she was initially unable to find any housing. Dartlist is a website created by the Dartmouth Sustainability Office that allows users to exchange information about housing.

Yesterday, Wallace found off-campus housing through a friend. Wallace said that had she not found any housing by the end of this week, she would have missed her senior spring and not been able to work on campus.

Amber Zimmerman ’19 said that she talked to staff members in the housing office before the start of this winter and found out that there was a small chance that she would get spring term housing from the school. She then started looking for places to live off-campus. Zimmerman said that she went on Dartlist and asked her friends as well as upperclassmen for housing options. On Dartlist, Zimmerman saw a post from a fellow female College student looking for a female roommate. Zimmerman contacted her, and they later met to discuss further details. The two agreed to live together in an apartment near campus.

“Because I went and talked to [staff members in the housing office] before classes started winter term, I at least had time to get a plan,” Zimmerman said. “Whereas I think a lot of people banked on getting housing from the school because they knew so many people who had done it in the past.”