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DSG reprimands officials for housing lottery snafu

Duke Student Government strongly reproached the Office of Student Development for its handling of this year's housing lottery system at its meeting Wednesday night.

Residential Life Liaison Sean Young said the administration's decision to reserve certain singles for rising sophomores in linked houses went against its commitment to maintain seniority in the selection process.

In November, both DSG and Campus Council passed resolutions calling for seniority instead of the proposed juniority. The University accepted the recommendations.

"While DSG recognizes that reserving specific rooms for rising sophomores was not meant to be deceptive but to be in a perceived logistical interest," the resolution reads, "DSG strongly criticizes OSD for its lack of recognition of the fact that it had consistently guaranteed upperclassmen having first selection of all West Campus rooms."

In addition to relating its disappointment in the system, the resolution proposed that OSD reverse its new policy forbidding students who have selected a room from choosing to live off campus.

This is the first year that OSD will not allow students to cancel their license for next year once they have selected a room and signed a housing agreement.

"A lot of people [upset with their room selection] would move off campus if given the opportunity," said Thaniyyah Ahmad, a Central Campus legislator and supporter of the resolution, which passed 20-13.

The Legislature also urged OSD to not implement an in-quad priority for the 2003 lottery, which would allow upperclassmen to choose rooms in the same quad as the year before.

Young argued that the in-quad priority would unfairly favor sophomores with West Campus housing over upperclassmen.

"I think the resolution shows that the transition process this year has been painful on the student body," Young said.

In a separate but similar resolution, DSG voted to allow the Facilities and Athletics Committee to file a formal complaint against the housing assignment division of OSD. Resolution co-sponsor Michael Calvo said the committee is still writing the complaint and hopes to deliver it to Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta within the next week.

The committee's resolution said the April 2 special lottery housing officials have announced to reallocate many of the leftover single rooms to upperclassmen is, "quite indicative of the mishandling of the process because had Housing Assignments stuck by the [seniority] policy enacted in November, this Ospecial lottery' would not be necessary."

IN OTHER BUSINESS: DSG passed a resolution calling for the installation of visible signs for Uncle Harry's grocery store on Central Campus, as well as allowing the sale of alcohol on food points there.

"If people don't know where [Uncle Harry's] is, they're not going to go," said junior Ellinor Coder, legislator and member of the Central Campus Task Force.

She added that the grocery store currently only sells alcohol on FLEX, unlike other campus eateries and stores like the Armadillo Grill and the Lobby Shop, which offer beer and wine on points.

The resolution is intended to improve the marketing and visibility of Uncle Harry's, which between 1999 and 2000 lost $230,900.

The Legislature also confirmed president-elect Joshua Jean-Baptiste's nomination of junior Emily Grey as his chief of staff for next year. Grey currently serves as legislative pro tempore and is a former vice president for facilities and athletics.