ORL proposes change in room selection process

by Victoria McGrane | 11/8/99 6:00am

The Office of Residential Life has proposed a new method of room selection in response to student concerns over the lack of choice in the housing assignment process.

The room draw proposal, which may be implemented as early as this spring, would replace the current computerized system and allow students to hand pick their rooms, Dean of Residential Life Martin Redman said.

The new proposal calls for the display of all residence hall floor plans in a central location. Students, accompanied by their desired room and hall mates, would be able to point to specific rooms they wanted.

The process would mostly likely last a couple of days with students receiving preference in order of their housing preference numbers.

"This would be a way for students to really have control of [the process] and see first hand how it works, " Director of Housing Services Lynn Rosenblum said.

Under the current system, upperclass students complete an electronic application listing room type, cluster and roommate preferences. Then ORL assigns rooms giving preference to those students with better housing priority numbers.

The priority numbers in both the current and proposed system are determined by random lottery.

The proposal would only be implemented for regular upperclass residential spaces. Freshman and affinity housing, as well as East Wheelock, would be unaffected by the new system.

Rosenblum said a room-draw system is something her office has always wanted to do. She cited the D-plan as one of the obstacles that has prevented such change in the past.

However, the room draw proposal allows students who will be off campus to fill out a proxy authorizing a friend a pick a room for them, Rosenblum said.

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the Residential and Social Life Initiative, none of the proposed changes are definite.

In order to be prepared for a room draw in the spring, Rosenblum said her office would have to have everything finalized and ready to go by the end of February for ORL's fall housing mailing.

Beyond the room draw proposal, Redman said he feels there are broader housing issues that need to be addressed.

He pointed to Sophomore Summer as one "huge" continuity issue for students, when students are required to relocate for only a term.

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