How USC screwed over 1,217 freshmen with the Village

Rooms were going faster than Coachella tickets

In past years it hasn’t been common for freshmen to freak out over getting USC housing for a second year, but after all the hype the school built up around the Class of 2020 getting first grabs at the new USC Village, it’s pretty much the only thing they’ve been thinking about recently.

The housing selection process for the 2017-2018 school year went down this week and with it came way more drama than necessary.

It all started back last fall when the Village was the new and shiny object USC dangled in front of the freshman to get them excited about living on campus past their first year. Freshman were left under the impression that if they wanted to live in the Village next school year, they’d be able to, no problem.

It turns out there was a big problem: a possible 3,068 freshman were eligible to apply for only 1,851 spots, meaning that if they didn’t get a random selection time either Monday or Tuesday (time slots went through 6 pm Thursday) they were screwed out of their first choice of housing, when likely they didn’t really have a backup because they were made to think they didn’t need one.

“I had no sense of urgency when I got my time slot for Wednesday,” said undeclared freshman Jane Clark. “I just assumed I’d be in the Village. We all did. Housing made it sound like we all had assured spots.”

Posted by Dakota Gryffin

Director of Housing Keenan Cheung stated that USC Housing anticipated the Village’s high demand, even if students didn’t.

“Nothing changed with our processes with the addition of the Village,” Cheung said. “Being that our lottery system is assigned completely by random, we believe it is the fairest way and gives any person that wants to live together a better chance.”

Each student who applied for housing was assigned a random selection time by lottery, during which they could reserve spaces for themselves and their desired roommates in a variety of undergraduate housing accommodations such as buildings six through nine in the Village, Cardinal Gardens, and Webb Tower. Some students found this process aggravating.

“It truly becomes a waiting game,” said freshman journalism major Carly Price. “Unfortunately, my roommates and I had to wait too long and were not able to get a room in the Village for the four of us.”

Posted by Elise Vondra

Freshman International Relations major Natalia Smith was fortunately assigned a highly desired Monday morning time slot and secured her top-choice room, but still found issues with the selection process.

“It would have been better if we could see the list of rooms available before we logged on,” Smith said.

It wasn’t until students got into the system during their assigned time that they could see what rooms were available to them, which caused a lot of last minute panicking for groups of friends who had to suddenly change their plans.

“I’m also disappointed that they haven’t released pictures of the rooms when a lot of them are finished. They just released the general floor plans,” she added.

Yes, you read that right. Students are freaking out over living in apartments they barely even know about.

Despite the unknown and the fact that all spots are now assigned, students are still trying to finagle their way into Village housing. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so a black market of sorts for the sale and purchase of rooms in the Village has popped up within freshman Facebook groups.

Unfortunately, this recent post makes it look like selling spaces this way won’t actually be a possibility.


But what makes the USC Village so great? Is it really worth all the hype?

According to Smith, “To be the first ones in new housing and have the Target, Trader Joe’s and gym close by,” justifies all of the madness.

However, despite not having secured a spot in the Village, Price doesn’t feel like she’ll be missing out on everything Smith described.

“Fortunately [my roommates and I] were able to make other living plans for next year and will still be able to enjoy the new amenities of the Village,” she said.

Hopefully the 1,217 members of the Class of 2020 not in Village housing will be able to take on a similarly positive perspective.

University of Southern California Hide Images