Students express frustration over room assignments, exchanging process
Pictured is Rieber Terrace, one of UCLA’s on-campus dorms. Students can arrange a mutual dorm swap from Sept. 9 until move-in. (Daily Bruin file photo)
Sept. 21, 2023 10:47 p.m.
As the school year approaches, many students are attempting to swap their allocated UCLA Housing rooms via Reddit and other social media platforms.
Throughout the summer, students are able to submit a Change of Assignment Request, which housing staff reviews, UCLA Housing said in an emailed statement. Students can also confirm a mutual swap they have agreed to starting Sept. 5 when assignments are finalized. UCLA Housing and Residential Life also hold events to help facilitate transferring of rooms during the academic year, the statement added.
UCLA Housing said it processed around 2,000 Change of Assignment Requests at the beginning of the 2022-2023 academic year. Students have also been posting on online platforms, including Reddit, in an attempt to find people to swap with.
Ava Dalgaard, a third-year sociology student, said she wanted to switch rooms because despite only listing on-campus housing options on her application preferences, she was still placed in an eight-person off-campus apartment.
“Somehow I got put into an eight person apartment,” she said. “Ideally all of the options that I put were also doubles, no larger than three people.”
She added that she wanted to live on-campus because UCLA off-campus housing does not provide a meal plan for campus dining, which is important to her to have.
Dalgaard said she found someone a few weeks ago on Reddit to swap rooms with her to a double plaza with a private bathroom in a De Neve dorm.
Prayer Noyogiere, a second-year psychology student, said she was originally placed in a plaza triple dorm room, which is unsuitable for her personal circumstances. After attempting a mutual swap, she said she also filled out a form requesting an off-campus apartment, indicating that it was only as a last resort.
However, UCLA Housing canceled her on-campus housing offer and placed her in an apartment despite her request for an on-campus swap remaining open, she said. Noyogiere added that she finally found someone to swap into a double dorm room, but that she is still seeking another swap.
“Currently, I’m really working with CAE (the Center for Accessible Education) because I’m trying to see if I can get a single,,” she said. “The (double) suites don’t have AC, … and I have asthma.”
Noyogiere said she thinks the lottery housing system could be improved to be more accommodating to students.
“What is the point of me choosing my preferences if I’m … going to get something that’s at the bottom of my list?” she said.
The opportunity to submit a Change of Assignment Request should be open earlier, Dalgaard said, adding that she was worried the person with whom she agreed to swap would pull out before the form opened Sept. 5. UCLA Housing said in the emailed statement that the form opens closer to the beginning of school so all students can swap having received their final housing assignments.
Dalgaard also said offering meal plans to students living in apartments would have been helpful in easing her housing concerns. Additionally, improving access to information about which amenities come with each housing option would have been useful, she said.
Noyogiere said that with the announcement of new apartment buildings in the Westwood area, she hopes the process will be easier in the future.
“I just really hope in the nearby future that there will just be a lot more options available to people,” Noyogiere said.