Residency, please!

Room selection for some is a heart-thumping experience and a quest for the perfect room and roommate. But for commuter students trying to get back on campus, it can be stressful – and costly.

Once students become commuters, they are not guaranteed a dorm room back on campus if they decide they want to come back. Last year, those commuters wanting back in the dorms had to pay a deposit and were then put on a wait list in case dorm rooms opened up.

But with more than 30 freshmen already placed at the Ramada Inn in Rutland because of a lack of dorm rooms, most of these wait-listed students were left without a dorm room, according to Michael Robilotto, director of residence life.

This year, commuters wanting to get back in the dorms are supposed to contact Robilotto to be put on a wait list instead of paying the deposit.

One commuter student, who asked to remain anonymous because she is looking for a job at the school, has already paid a room deposit for next semester. The student is graduating in December and does not want to sign another lease on the apartment she is currently living in.

“We weren’t aware of that at the time we took the deposit,” said account receivable manager Betty Moyer.

But even with a deposit paid, the student isn’t ensured of getting a room. To guarantee a room, Moyer said the student would have to buy a room for the remainder of this semester for $25 a day plus a meal plan. The cheapest meal plan is eight meals a week, which would cost about $16 a day.

“I think it’s ridiculous they suggest you buy a room, but you won’t be living in it because you are already paying for a place off campus,” the student said.

Moyer said she has talked to five or so other students who are in the same boat.

Robilotto suggested that those who need housing or any short term living look at the “placefinder” link on the school Web site under residence life.

The school is trying to help avoid this problem in the future by building another residence hall for fall 2012, according to Robilotto.

Until then, the problem may persist.

“I don’t know what the answer is until we get the new residence halls,” Moyer said.

Even though it won’t be completed until after the student graduates, the new residence hall seems to be the solution she was looking for.

“I really enjoy it here. I just wish they had housing to accommodate everyone,” the student said.

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