New housing selection guidelines in place

New guidelines from the Office of Residence Life seek to get rid of long lines during housing selection season.

According to Resident Assistant John Wilson, housing selection was a hectic process in previous years.

He said that students would have to wait in long lines, causing many delays and students to miss their appointments.

Reforms to the system include filling out forms online and changes to the suite selection process.

In previous years, all students hoping to live in a suite of their choice had to attend a meeting at the Office of Residence Life. Scheduling conflicts made meetings difficult and congestion occurred as dozens of hopeful suitemates lined up to go to Residence Life.

According to Wilson, if a group of students hope to organize a suite this year, they must appoint a “suite captain” to attend all meetings with Residence Life. The other students in the group must submit proxy forms to Residence Life that formally allow the captain to make housing selections for them.

Wilson said that now, a suite will be entirely eliminated from selection if one of the members does not meet housing requirements. The entire group will then end up in general selection.

Despite this, Wilson said he is confident that the changes would be a step in the right direction.

“It is more convenient, because the way that the online version is set up is a lot easier,” he said. “It just prompts you exactly what to put in. So when it asks, ‘Who do you want to live with?’ and then it will say ‘suitemate’ or ‘roommate.’ It literally will say word-for-word exactly what you tell it. It will say, ‘Where do you want to live?’ and you click the box.”

Associate Director of Residence Life Eric Finkelstein noted that this year’s “suite selection” differs from last year’s “room selection.”

“Students who went through room selection last year had the opportunity to choose a room within a suite or an apartment,” Finkelstein said. “This year we’re calling it “housing selection” so that students have more options. Students can choose a room within a suite or they may choose to fill an entire suite or an apartment with people that they know.”

Students have their own opinions about the new housing selection system. Sophomore Jeff Maiorino said he thinks that it is a feasible plan.

“From what I could tell, [the old system] was room-based, not suite-based,” Maiorino said. “[The new system] seems reasonable. It also gives responsibility to someone in the suite.”

Maiorino thought that “only time would tell” how students receive the new selection rules.

Finkelstein also said that students can still enter general selection and allow Residence Life to assign them to a room. He also pointed out another addition to housing selection, which is online.

“The other parts that are new to the process the online component for our application and roommate request process,” he said. “So students don’t have to fill out paperwork in advance and turn that in.

Students will be able to follow a link and submit their roommate preferences.”

Freshman Ariel Wang understands why the system was changed, but thinks that there are still flaws to work on.

“It is more efficient,” Wang said. “It’s more organized than before. I think it is unfair that if one person can’t meet the requirements, the whole suite suffers.”

Informational packets were
distributed to residents, but many students are reserving judgment until they experience housing selection this spring.

“It seems like an improvement and less confusing,” freshman Nicole Horan said. “But I don’t really know about it.”