Virtual Room Draw
Courtesy Of Starrez.Com
Choosing your room may soon occur at the speed of light — or at least at the speed of Dartmouth Secure.
The Office of Residential Life demoed a potential online room draw system from company StarRez on Tuesday in a session open to campus.
“Students come in wishing that room draw was not an in-person process,” Director of Undergraduate Housing Rachael Class-Giguere said at the presentation. “Many of our policies wouldn’t change…but there are some things that would be different.”
Although fewer than five students attended the presentation, those who came used the time well. Comments from the audience ranged from questions about the logistics of the proposal to concerns over the pre-registration process the new system would require.
With the new system, students would be assigned a specific time to log onto the housing portal system and make their room selections. The time would be based on students’ assigned priority number and the basic rules of room draw — like filling all beds in a room — would remain in place.
The portal itself would include a search function allowing students to filter rooms by type, location, etc., according to StarRez representative Mike Greene. The list of available rooms would update in real time as rooms were filled, allowing students to monitor the room lists continuously for updates.
Students would need to pre-register online before the process begins. If students planned on living with one or more people, the roommate with the highest priority number would need to request the other roommates before they were able to choose a room. This process would be similar to “friending” the potential roommates on Facebook, Greene said.
The portal system would not let students choose a room with more than one bed unless the student had enough pre-confirmed roommates to fill all the beds in the room. Students could, however, search within the online portal for rooms with available beds, which they could elect to fill.
Continuing in the Facebook spirit, the portal could notify students via e-mail of pending roommate requests from other students, and whether or not requests they sent were accepted or denied.
If confirmed roommates reached their assigned room selection time and discovered that all the rooms large enough to house them were taken, they would have the option to dissolve the confirmed group and form smaller roommate groups, Greene said.
“It can all happen online,” he said.
No final decision has been reached as to whether ORL will implement the new online portal, Class-Giguere said. Student input on the issue is highly valued, she said, adding that ORL will organize more forums for students to share their opinions.
“We want to have a system that is fair and easier,” Class-Giguere said. “We don’t want to trade convenience for fairness.”