Lottery deadline for next year looms for UF campus residents

Published: Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
University of Florida students living on campus and wanting to continue living on campus in the fall must enter their name into a lottery via the Internet by the deadline Wednesday.
UF's housing office unveiled its new Web site in January - the same time it sent out a mass informational mailing to UF campus residents about the new online lottery registration.
Officials hope the online system gives them more flexibility in assigning the 2,300 available spaces.
"We want more students than we have spaces for so we can let people get out of their leases if they need to," said Sharon Blansett, assistant director of housing for marketing, public relations and research.
The goal is to get as many as 3,000 students to sign up so that when students back out of their leases, they can be offered to others waiting for a space to open up.
The department can only offer that option if more students are accepted than the number of spaces available, Blansett said.
The online lottery registration is the latest change on the department of housing's Web site.
Students can fill out all application forms necessary for housing on campus, including their agreement forms, which is new to the site.
The agreement form, a typical lease, lets students give their dorm and roommate preferences, Blansett said.
Housing staff decided it wanted a complete online application process more than 10 years ago, however, it was necessary to wait until technology caught up with the idea, Blansett said.
Students seem to like easier and more convenient ways of meeting deadlines.
"Online applications and forms are much better because I can fill them out in my dorm and I don't have to go buy stamps and mail them," said Stephen Kartt, a UF sophomore.
The housing office, however, faced at least one major kink in the system.
The Web site crashed in January on its first day open. The Web site was closed for approximately six hours.
"We didn't anticipate that everyone would come on our server all at the same time," Blansett said. "There have been no problems since that initial malfunction."

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