LETTER: Housing decisions should prioritize upperclassmen


Rutgers' slogan should be “many will enter, few will win,” instead of the bold claim that it is in any way a leader of the revolution of higher education. Based on the treatment of both students and faculty, the University seems to be first and foremost, a business — a sad result of an overly capitalistic society. But this is not a Marxist rant, merely a question as to whether Rutgers is truly as “Revolutionary” as it claims to be. Everyone is familiar with the infamous "RU Screw," and while most are able to jocularly address this incessant frustration, there are some who have truly suffered because of it.

There are several areas where Rutgers and its employees have failed to live up to their boasted standards. The failure of the largest magnitude, however, is the joke of a housing system. Let’s be honest. No one wants to live in a double. While it is totally acceptable to have underclassmen live in the older dorms (I did), juniors and, without a doubt, seniors, should be given top priority in living situations. If there is even one senior in a group applying for housing, they should be provided with the living spaces with single bedrooms. They deserve the best for their last year.

“But that wouldn’t be fair!” Actually, it would be. Instead of a faulty lottery system, make housing a hierarchal process. Follow the same sequence we have been (or should have been) following all of our lives: The older you get, the more liberties you receive. When students pay for housing, there is no gamble to see whether or not Rutgers gets the money. The University’s payment is certain. It only makes sense the people paying the University have living situations that are certain.

And if the process itself is corrupt, the Rutgers administration in charge of and connected to it are even worse. The student is made out to be the bad guy and sometimes, if said student is really lucky, they’ll be insulted by a dean. There is nothing like the feeling when the people put in place to help you are alternately unconcerned and condescending. Simply find yourself in a situation when you are in need of administrative assistance — call, email or walk into the office and calmly and respectively express your frustration. Guaranteed, you will leave feeling small and harboring a growing hatred for the University "On the Banks of the old Raritan." How about that "Revolutionary RU Screw?"

Sumayya Mateen is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in English.


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Sumayya Mateen

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