Housing Selection Revamped

Jess Blank

Students who waited anxiously in the Hall of Presidents last year to select their housing arrangements will be excited to hear that the Office of Residential Life (ResLife) has reformatted the housing selection process this year. No longer will students have to wait in long lines while nervously pulling out their hair. In addition to an extended deadline, the revamped process will remove much of the stress and confusion associated with room selection.

Last year, housing deadlines were set for the last week in February, before rising juniors had heard back from the Office of Off-Campus Study and International Programs about academic leave of absence decisions. This resulted in some students needing to scramble at the last second to accommodate their housing preferences. This year, however, the room selection deadline is extended until April, giving students who are studying abroad plenty of time to finalize their plans.

For first-year students, the entire process will be online.

“It is a process that looks very similar to class registration,” Director of Residential Life and Assistant Dean of the College for Residential Education Jennifer Adams said. “Each student must sign in to register and is automatically given a specific time for room selection. At the appropriate time, the students are then presented online with possible rooming options.”

The online procedure will not be available to sophomores and juniors this semester, however.

“The first-year students will serve as our trial run, and if they like the online process, then we may use it next year for juniors and seniors,” Adams said. “Also, in response to student feedback, beginning in 2008, we stopped mass production of printed room selection information to be more environmentally responsible. It’s all online now and students are responsible for consulting the website to get the information or attending an information session.”

After learning of the old system, first-years seemed appreciative of the new changes, though wary of the process.

“It’s still going to be stressful though,” first-year Alec Miller said. “You still have a specific time that you have to sign in at, but at least it seems to be more structured than last year.”

First-year Wes Testo had a different view.

“When I got my number, I already knew it was so bad that I wasn’t going to get the room I wanted anyway, so I guess it’ll be less stressful in that sense,” Testo said.

The selection process for juniors and seniors, while not online, has also been changed. Now the selection process will be based solely on applications, which are due April 8. ResLife will then take a week to review all of the applications and will notify students if they have not received their first choice. The office will work with those students to help them find an alternative option.

“I like that the process is more personal and involved with Res Life, but I wonder how much stress this will actually relieve. If you don’t get your first choice, you will still have to scramble to figure something else out,” sophomore Morgan Flannery said.

Other students expressed their surprise at the change.

“It seems like Colgate is finally listening to students’ feedback,” sophomore Meg Hanley said. “But I haven’t heard about this new process until just now. I hope Residential Life advertises this more.”

And in fact, ResLife will hold several information sessions for students to do just that.

“We are strongly emphasizing that students come to information sessions,” Residential Life Office Manager Tracy Piatti said. “It’s a work in progress for us too, so it’s important that they are aware of the changes.”

Information sessions for current first-year students will be held on February 16 at 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. and February 17 at 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. in the Robert Ho Lecture Room in Lawrence Hall. Sessions for current sophomores and juniors will be held on February 23 at 6:00 p.m. and February 24 at 7:00 p.m. in Persson Hall.