University Housing makes adjustments for incoming students

Students+are+going+back+to+the+Illinois+Street+Residential+Hall+after+class+at+noon+on+Tuesday.

Students are going back to the Illinois Street Residential Hall after class at noon on Tuesday.

By Ali Braboy

For new students enrolling for the Fall 2015 semester, the University is now offering the opportunity to choose more specific living options.

According to the University Housing website, if new students enrolling at the University complete a housing contract by May 15, the students will receive a time slot in late May. When the time slot arrives, they will be able to choose available rooms and halls, which will be available until June when the process closes.

The new process for incoming freshmen and transfer students is similar to that of students returning to University Housing, wherein they are able to choose a specific hall and room to live in.

Kirsten Ruby, associate director of Housing for Communications and Marketing, said previously, newly admitted students could list up to six location preferences for housing at the University.

“All students who met the May 15 priority deadline were assigned a random number, and hall assignments, based on availability, were made in that order in early June,” Ruby said, regarding the previous housing process.

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    She said the changes happened because of student feedback, which indicated that students said they would have liked to learn sooner where they would be living.  

    University Housing also created a new feature for newly admitted students looking for a roommate. In the past, students answered lifestyle questions to help Housing determine compatible roommates. With the new system, those questions are still answered, but the system also shows other students that might be compatible to live with based on their answers. Students will then be able to email each other to see if they would like to be roommates.

    As in the past, applicants can also indicate a specific person they would like to room with in either step one or two of the housing contract. Students will be hearing back by late June where and who they will living with, earlier than previous years, where students found out in late July or early August.

    Ruby said the housing changes are another reason why students should come to the University.

    Caroline Paik, sophomore in AHS, said she had done some research on the dormitories at the University when choosing her preferences to live as a freshman. As a freshman, she lived in Allen Hall, which she said was her first preference because of the location, as it was closer to the Quad and CRCE.   

    Although Paik got her first preference choice, she knew others did not receive their preferred choices.

    “I know some people who really wanted to be in another building or wanted a different number of roommates.”

    Paik said she found out her dorm and roommates about a month before moving into Allen Hall.

    By giving incoming newly admitted students more time to know where and who they will be living with, Paik said it might improve the communication between roommates as they will have more time to talk before moving in. 

    “I remember waiting kind of a long time,” Paik said. “I was so eager to find out who my roommate was.” 

    Solinna Chong, sophomore in LAS, said her first preference as a freshman was Allen Hall, which is the hall she received. She found out where she was living in late July or early August. 

    “In a way, that makes (students) feel more comfortable that they know exactly where they will be living,” Chong said.

    The University Housing website states that even if students fill out their housing contract after May 15, the department will still look at the student’s location and roommate preferences.

    Ali can be reached at [email protected].