Berkeley Student Cooperative update its housing assignment system

Julian Kilchling/Staff

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The Berkeley Student Cooperative has implemented changes to its housing assignment system in the hopes of making the process for students seeking spaces in co-ops this summer and fall easier to navigate.

After the BSC made changes to the cooperative’s online enrollment and registration system in May 2016, some members had to look for alternative living options for fall due to cancelled housing contracts. In order to help new members secure housing, the BSC has opened up their self-selection process to new members, in addition to creating a lottery system which assigns applicants a time slot when they can log in and sign up for housing.

Zach Gamlieli, the vice president of external affairs for the BSC, explained that the self-selection process for the co-ops is not new. This is the first time, however, the process has also been opened up to new members.

“Self-selection allows for earlier assignment of spaces so students can be more secure in their housing options,” Gamlieli said in an email.

Under the new lottery system, students are assigned  a number designating a time slot that indicates when they can log on and select an available housing spot. While receiving a lottery number does not ensure a student will get housing, the BSC will continue to give out time slots until all housing spots are filled, according to an email sent March 8 to BSC applicants.

For the first set of selection times, students have been organized into lottery groups with numbers ranging from 1 to 750.The priority points system from past years will still apply, which Gamlieli said will make assigning spaces more efficient. According to Gamlieli, BSC also sent out instructions and screenshots demonstrating the self-selection process before the lottery time slots opened Tuesday in order to help applicants better understand the process for selecting housing.

“They sent me a few emails clarifying things,” said campus freshman Grace Schimmel about her recent application process.I did not get a lottery number for fall, but then I applied for summer housing last minute and they were very helpful at the office in terms of helping me figure out what to send in via email so I could get a lottery number and sign up for a spot.”

Along with Schimmel, others who did not receive fall lottery numbers must find other housing options, according to freshman Beethoven Gerber, another applicant for fall housing. Gerber was assigned a lottery number for fall housing because she received priority through the co-op’s Disabled Students Program, adding that she felt lucky to have a time slot.

Cloyne resident Jazz Pouls said in a Facebook message the new system helps clarify the housing assignment process. According to Pouls, members can see which spots are available and select a spot in a house, as opposed to solely being assigned based on priority preferences.

“It seems more intuitive,” Pouls said.

Contact Kate Tinney at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @K_Tinney.