New Housing Process Disappoints Current Juniors and Uppers

For the 2022-2023 school year, the Andover Inn will no longer be a dorm. Students in the Andover Inn currently will be placed elsewhere on campus.

For the 2022-2023 school year, Juniors will remain in their current dorms, according to an email from Jennifer Elliott, Assistant Head of School for Residential Life and Dean of Students. Upperclassmen who do not choose to stack with a group of peers will be required to stay in their current dorms, or become prefects and proctors.

In a subsequent email sent by Kate Dolan, Assistant Dean of Students and Residential Life, information about prefecting and proctoring, stacking, and 9/10 and 11/12 dorms was listed.

According to the email sent by Elliott, Juniors who are displaced because their dorm will no longer be a 9/10 dorm will complete a housing survey, similar to previous years. The Deans Team hopes that keeping Juniors in their current dorms will allow them to be leaders within their dorms for new students.

“Current 9th graders – you will remain in your current 9/10 dormitory and ideally serve as role models for new [Juniors] and fellow [Lowers] who will be new in the fall of 2022. Deans and house counselors will determine room placements within the dorm,” wrote the Deans Team.

Mayumi Kawano ’25, a current resident of Nathan Hale House, was surprised by the housing system changes. Kawano was disappointed to find out that she can not live with a friend from a different dorm, as she had originally planned, due to the new housing process.

“I was pretty shocked since I wasn’t expecting there to be a new process at all. I remember reading through it and feeling a little upset since I had already made plans on rooming with someone that lives in another 9/10 dorm,” said Kawano.

According to Kawano, the new housing process prevents students from gaining a diverse residential experience. Kawano believes that the former housing process could have provided students with the opportunity to move to more desirable locations on campus.

“The new housing process isn’t as fair as it could be. I feel like it really restricts just how many places on campus you can experience living in. For folks living in dorms that are further away from main campus, the housing process should have been seen as an opportunity to live closer to classes,” said Kawano.

Uppers have four options: apply to be a prefect in a 9/10 dorm, request a stack with a group of peers, apply to be a prefect in their current dorm or a different 11/12 dorm, or remain in their current dorm. Uppers who are displaced because they are currently serving as prefects or because their dorm will no longer be an 11/12 dorm will submit a housing form, according to an email from the Deans Team.

Kianna Jean-Francois ’23, a current prefect in Paul Revere Hall, was not sure what to expect from the new housing process. She believed that the new housing process would be similar to the lottery process used in previous years. Although she thinks that the process is unfair for Juniors because of the lack of input they have, she acknowledged the potential positives for Juniors with the new system.

“I think the new housing process is fair for some people but not really Juniors because they have no say in whether or not they remain in their current dorm. I understand that the choice has to do with the school wanting more stability and stronger relationships between students and faculty, but I think not giving the students a choice at all seems harsh,” said Jean-Francois.

Jean-Francois continued, “I think that the current Juniors will gain stronger relationships with house counselors after living with them for two years. Also, these students will get to grow and develop with many of their peers from freshman year which could be nice.”

Justin Parker ’24 agreed that Juniors should have been given more freedom to choose their next dorm. Parker felt that the new housing process would have been more reasonable to use for the 2020-2021 school year with the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I think that the new housing process isn’t the best idea. I’d understand if it was used when I was a [Junior], because I came in during the 2020 year and the pandemic was in full swing. We weren’t on campus a lot as [Juniors], so having us stay in the same dorms made sense. But now, I think it’s bad for people who don’t wanna stay in their dorms. I think that they really should have given [under]classmen the freedom to choose,” said Parker.