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Students camp out in order to secure coveted housing for next year

Students camp out and line up for various suites on campus. Some have been at Morrison since last Wednesday night. Lauren Spoeneman, a freshman Psychology major, does work while camped out in front of Morrison. She wants a room in Teague and has been there since 11 AM Monday.

Despite appearances, the Occupy movement has not moved to Morrison Residence Hall.

As early as last Wednesday, four tents popped up around Morrison’s basketball court as students rushed to claim Morrison’s super suites for next year.

And on Monday, more than 20 tents joined as students began to camp out for regular suites in residence halls across campus.

“It’s really chilly and there’s been some rain, but it’s really fun,” said freshman Cassidy Maxwell.

“We’re all singing together and playing guitar and watching that kid put up a tent with sticks,” she said, pointing to a student building a tent in the bushes.

Super suites are different from typical suites: they have three rooms each and also contain a common area. There are 42 super suites at UNC, all of which are located in the top three floors of Morrison.

Students waited in anticipation for 9 a.m. Tuesday, when in-person suite selection began.

Super suite selection was held on a first-come, first-served basis, and normal suite selection was done the same way but seniority was also taken into account, said Rick Bradley, assistant director of housing assignments and communication.

Arriving early, even by days, gave students priority within their academic years, Bradley said.

After first being offered to current Morrison residents, there were only six super suites left by the time students started waiting.

“It’s been cold and rainy and we’ve had a lot of people bully us playing basketball at 3 in the morning,” said Mary Alice McMillan, a freshman who stood first in line for a super suite.

“It’s been fun, though, and we’ve enjoyed the experience,” she said.

Bradley estimated that about 800 students turned out for suite registration throughout Tuesday, and that by the afternoon, most of the available suites had been requested.

“It is good to see that students have interest and care about where they will be living next year — it’s exciting,” he said.

Students had to endure the elements, including strong winds that collapsed two tents over the weekend. Although most had carried supplies with them in preparation for a cold night, some just brought chairs.

Most of those in line were freshman, motivated by a desire to avoid a long walk to class next year.

“Right now I live in Hinton James, which is really far away, so I want to live somewhere closer like Carmichael,” said freshman Dale Koontz.

“I know that there are not very many rooms available, but I feel pretty good about getting something.”

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