The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday December 8th

Students Camp Out for Rooms

The first student in line at the additional chance for recontracting rooms at the new residence halls arrived at 4 p.m. Monday, 26 hours early.

Some students stretched out on futons, counting down to the 6 p.m. start time, while others bent over their books waiting for pizza delivery men to arrive. But all the students were gathered for a similar goal -- to obtain a coveted room in one of the four new South Campus residence halls.

Many of the students waiting in line were successful in their quest for housing. Moments before the recontracting ended at 8 p.m., only five spots remained, Morrison officials said.

The need for Tuesday's recontracting process originated after Friday's registration for upperclassmen left 240 spots open in the new residence halls. About 70 spaces for men and 170 spaces for women were available. The distribution was open to any student currently living on South Campus.

Department of Housing and Residential Education Director Christopher Payne said several freshmen living on South Campus approached him during Friday's room distribution asking for preference in any extra spots.

Payne said the housing department held the recontracting Tuesday so any students who were initially turned away had time to reserve their current room before Wednesday evening's deadline. "We didn't want these students to be denied any options."

Sophomore Laura Smith was the first person to line up at 4 p.m. Monday. Smith, who secured her own new room Friday, arrived early to save spots for friends Tony Pentz and Ryan Browning.

Pentz and Browning, who hope to be roommates in "Ehringhaus South" next year, were two of the students who approached Payne asking for the first-come, first-serve process. "I'm really against an online process because so many things can go wrong with it," Browning said. "With this method, if you really want it, you can get it."

While neither Pentz nor Browning missed class for the lineup, they said several of their friends skipped class to avoid losing their places.

But Payne said there was no reason for students to skip class. He said that his department took schedule conflicts into consideration and that students who were unable to wait in line could fill out worksheets authorizing their roommates to reserve their spots.

Yet freshman Anthony Stokes, who arrived at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday after a full day of work and classes, said difficulties remained for those roommates with similar class schedules.

"It's kind of unfair because people who skipped class or had no class got out here first," he said. "The rest of us are at a disadvantage."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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