Yale College will not offer annex housing for next academic year, according to an email sent to the student body on Monday.
Dean of Student Affairs Camille Lizarríbar wrote in the email that due to restrictions caused by COVID-19, multiple campus construction projects are delayed — including those on annex housing. Given this postponement of the projects, the email stated that on-campus housing will be limited to what is available in the residential colleges. The announcement comes as Yale College prepares to enter the final year of its four-year student body expansion, which fully populated the two new residential colleges — Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray.
“Once we are no longer compromised by COVID restrictions, we will revive our efforts to expand and diversify our on-campus housing offerings,” the email read.
In an email to the News, Lizarribar wrote that the College estimates around 100 students will not be offered a spot in their residential college. Most of these students will continue to be assigned to available housing in other colleges, she added, but the earlier email noted that the number of open spaces will “not be enough to meet the anticipated need.”
According to the initial email, students who do not receive on-campus housing after each college’s housing cycle will have to pursue off-campus housing options. Lizarribar added in that email that students should not despair over having to find off-campus housing, since new leases “will continue to appear” in the spring and summer.
“This may sound daunting, especially in the current circumstances, but New Haven has ample off-campus housing options and it is easier than ever to manage housing searches online,” Lizarribar wrote to the student body. “It’s just a different timeline than the on-campus housing process.”
Lizarribar told the News that otherwise, the housing process will remain the same for students. After each college finishes its own housing draw, space will be assigned to students who would like to stay on campus but did not receive a spot in their college.
The number of annexed students, she said, will depend on the number of open spots and interested students.
“In prior years, we’ve been able to accommodate everybody who wanted campus housing,” Lizarribar wrote. “However, next year, we see a possibility of not being able to house everybody, so I sent out the notice to be as transparent as possible. I understand that this is a stressful situation, and I do think that housing will work fine for the vast majority of students.”
This announcement comes during a recent effort by the administration to keep students on campus. While the Yale College Council Fall Survey found a relative increase in the percentage of students living off campus last year, Yale College Dean Marvin Chun has made keeping students on campus a priority. In February, the Yale College Dean’s Office announced that around 60 rising seniors would have the option to live in on-campus, mixed-college housing in Arnold Hall next year.
Still, Lizarribar’s email to the News underscored that the “vast majority” of students will be able to live on campus.
However, students interviewed by the News expressed frustration regarding the announcement.
For Riley Bird ’22, the announcement did not accurately reflect the burdens that will be placed on students who are not guaranteed on-campus housing — specifically, finding an affordable apartment, subletting that apartment over the summer and the costs of transportation and food.
“I would say that I’m extremely disappointed and angry at Yale for putting us in this situation,” Bird said. “Guaranteed housing is the responsibility of the college to implement and they have failed at doing so.”
Sarah Pitafi ’22 echoed Bird’s concerns, noting that this decision means that students are “effectively being evicted” — at a time where some are “thousands of miles away” and are unable to find off-campus housing. Lizarribar did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday night.
She added that she believes the University should be supporting students, “rather than creating new problems.”
“At this point, it feels as if every morning I am greeted with yet another shock from the University,” Pitafi said. “At a time when we need to be tapping into the community care that Yale touts, we are instead being torn apart and left to fend for ourselves.”
Forty percent of seniors lived off campus last year, according to the YCC survey.
Alayna Lee | email@example.com