Blooper requires housing rescindment

Garrett Kluever, Biz & Tech Editor

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A communication issue on Tuesday, April 17 caused nearly 200 returning University of Wisconsin-Whitewater students to apply late for housing next fall.

Frank Bartlett, Director of University Housing, explained his thoughts about the miscommunication.

The process wasn’t fair for everyone if you had people applying late,” Bartlett said.

An email went out to students Monday, April 9 informing students with confirmed roomates that application for housing would open at 4 p.m. on April 17. A follow up email was sent to students on Friday, April 13, changing the time to 3 p.m.

Materials, posters and website information though, had already been posted saying the start time was 4 p.m. Those promotions were not corrected by the time the application process began at 3 p.m. on April 17.

Some students entered the housing portal at 4 p.m. only to find most of the sections reserved, which caused a lot of confusion and uproar.

Bartlett, who had left for the day, was notified of the situation when students began to complain and message University Housing on social media, as well as coming into the office that evening.

“One of my working colleagues calls me and says they’re getting a lot of comments of Facebook, which was the first big tip off that something wasn’t right,” said Bartlett.

Freshman Tyler Yelich experienced confusion when he logged on to the portal.

“I didn’t know what was going on, everything was taken,” Yelich said.

The next day, on April 18, the housing team met to discuss the miscommunication and the amount of students affected.

Bartlett estimated that approximately 100 rooms were selected around 4 p.m., meaning roughly 200 students’ applications came in an hour late.

200 people were negatively impacted, that’s just too huge,” Bartlett said. “You can’t fix that large amount in just one-on-ones.”

The team decided after much discussion to rescind all housing assignments and reschedule the application process to the following week, but they had to run the decision by the Residence Hall Association (RHA) first.

Joseph Quinn, president of RHA, offered his thoughts on the reschedule.

I think it’s going to lead to a better outcome. … more fair for everyone,” said Quinn.

The housing portal re-opened applications for confirmed roommates at 3 p.m. on April 24, and the process went a lot smoother.

Bartlett said the main decision to redo the process was to make everything fair, although some students who applied at the correct time were upset in losing their assignments.

Bartlett said he felt that, overall, rescheduling the housing applications process was the right thing to do.

This isn’t how we want to learn, but the process had issues and we tried to fix them to the best of our ability to make sure it never happens again,” Bartlett said.

University Housing did add three sections to the new selections that were previously not available the first round: Arey second floor, Fischer second floor and Fricker third and remainder of fourth floors.

Bartlett encourages anyone who has questions or concerns about their housing assignments to reach out to him at [email protected] or 262-472-5301.