New changes to housing selection: going digital

RACHEL ELFMAN

Special to The Denisonian

Big changes are in store for the housing selection process this year. Instead of students waiting for hours in Slayter to select a room, the entire process will be conducted online. The Department of Residential Education & Housing has been working very hard since October 2015 to implement Adirondack, an online software for housing selection.

According to Kristan Hausman, the director of residential education and housing and the assistant dean of students, “It will be like online class registration. It will occur in an evening for a given class and there will be timed windows. There will be a random generator that will determine which time slot each student gets.” Hausman described how the online housing selection process will be a lot more efficient because students will have the ability to see which rooms are available in real time.

The Department of Residential Education & Housing is purposely changing the name from “housing lottery” to “housing selection.” Hausman explained, “A lottery implies that there is a winner and a loser.” Since there is a negative connotation associated with a lottery, the administration hopes this name change will alter students’ perceptions about the entire housing selection process.

Compared to other universities, Denison’s former housing selection process was an anomaly. Hausman said, “Most schools across the U.S. have moved to an online housing selection process.”

The Department of Residential Education & Housing has been working over the last five years to coordinate with ITS, the Controller’s Office, and Financial Aid Office in order to switch to an online process.

Hausman also described how the online housing software will be a better experience for students who are looking for a roommate. All students will answer some questions about themselves as part of the housing application process. Examples of these questions include: “Do you stay up late?” and “Do you want to live with a smoker?” You will have the option of making your profile private if you do not want people to search for you as a potential roommate.

Ej Scott ‘18 believes that the online housing selection process and ability to search for roommates “will be more effective for people who don’t have a roommate in mind or are returning from abroad or medical leave.”

As a result of the new housing selection process, there will no longer be any special interest housing points.

Hausman clarified, “As we have transitioned to the software, it is one of those things we cannot retain. Special interest housing points will not exist going into the new experience. We have made the decision to start fresh with new special interest housing points.”

Special interest housing points are accumulated by students who choose to live in a special interest housing environment, such as substance-free or quiet residence halls, and agree to comply with the designations.

Under the previous housing selection system, seniors who amassed a large number of special interest housing points had a better chance of getting a senior apartment.

The 4-person group registration requirement for senior apartments will also not exist.

Instead of people registering as a group and getting one number, all students will be assigned to a time slot. Within a group of friends, the student who has the earliest time slot would register for an apartment and pull their roommates into that time slot.

There will be emails, information sessions, and potentially videos to further explain the new housing selection process to students.

A computer lab will also be manned with professional and student staff during housing selection. Registration for housing selection will take place after spring break and selection will occur by class year on yet to be determined dates in April.

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