The room selection process for the 2016-2017 school year started on Oct. 27. However, freshmen who have been living at Grand Valley State University for only two months had to sign up earlier than that to secure a spot on campus. When their registration is confirmed, students are then given a date and time that they can select a specific room number and on-campus apartment or living center.

This process works more like a lottery than anything else. If you don’t complete the initial form on time, then you cannot move on to the selection process because the housing department will not have known to save a place for you. Sometimes, this is the student’s fault for missing the deadline, but it is even more so the housing policy.

It seems wrong to assume that students will know where they want to live and who they want to live with so early in the year. It’s especially stressful for first year students who may not know people well enough to extend the awkward invitation to live together. Who knows how things could change from the beginning of the year to the end of the semester?

Most people will have at least one bad roommate situation throughout their college experience. Getting in arguments with people is never enjoyable, especially when you live with them. Sometimes, students choose to live with their current roommates for another year simply because they don’t have any other options.

Additionally, students feel forced to sign up so early because there is not enough space to accommodate the large numbers of those who want to live on campus. With the university continually increasing enrollment and increasing the freshman class, on-campus housing options are few and far between.

However, students can see progress on campus that shows how the university is working to combat the overcrowding problem. Currently, workers are building a new residence hall on what used to be Robinson Field, located behind the volleyball courts on North Campus. This will primarily serve first-year students, but it will also house upperclassmen when the Ravine Apartments are torn down after this year.

The new building will only have room for 400 to 500 students, which is a small portion of the 4,000 freshmen that come to GVSU every year. According to a Lanthorn article that was published last October, the university saves a total of 6,000 beds on campus, with about 3,500 of these being saved for freshmen and the rest for upperclassmen.

Though we are making comments on issues we have with the housing process, this does not mean that we think housing should cater to a student’s every wish. Sometimes you are not going to get your first choice, but that does not mean that students should be turned away from living on campus just because they wanted a little more time to be sure of their decision.

The start of a school year is stressful enough, without having to determine where students will live the following year before they’re even unpacked for the current year. Students should not be penalized for needing a bit more time to decide where they want to live, and it’s time the GVSU housing system is revamped to allow for more flexibility.