Students have criticized the functionality and efficiency of the housing process in the past, and as a result NSU implemented a new system this semester for students to select their housing assignments, versus the traditional process of giving housing their preferences and hoping that they receive their first choice.
Aarika Camp, associate dean of student services and adjunct faculty member in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and Fischler College of Education, said that this new housing selection system put all responsibility on the students when it came to selection. In the past, students gave the housing system a list of preferences regarding building, room style and roommates, and housing did their best to accomodate all of these desires. Camp said that students became frustrated or upset when their first choice of living style was not available to them.
“Students hated us assigning them. They were like ‘we don’t want to live with who you put us with.’ Okay, then pick how you want to live and what room type you want to live in,” Camp said.
Now, students have the ability to look at the system, see what is left, and pick from the remainders. Selection dates were decided based on credit hours, and students who had completed their housing contract were given information as to which buildings may be open for their residence ahead of time.
If students wanted to live in a certain room, they were encouraged to log on to the system as early as possible given their group and date. In addition, if students wanted to live with other students, they were strongly urged to communicate with them beforehand to have the highest chance of getting in a room together.
While students may not have gotten their first preference, said Camp, they did get housing. Any students who were required, for example by scholarship, to live on campus were given rooms.
“It may just not be a single, one bedroom, one bathroom apartment by yourself,” explained Camp.
While some students did appreciate some aspects of this new system there was hope that refinement and experience from this year will help the process go smoother in the future.
“I like how we have the ability to pick our floor and then, really, the roommates kind of work out from there,” said sophomore elementary education major Katelyn Lanciano. “However, I do think that there are more effective ways to complete the process that NSU should look into in order to make it easier for both students and faculty [involved in the housing process].”
This housing change came after the decision to move graduate students out of Rolling Hills and off campus, putting undergraduate juniors and seniors in their place. The new housing process included the Rolling Hills apartments, and eligible students were able to sign up according to availability.
Camp said that the decision to move graduate students out of Rolling Hills was very difficult, but was made with the student body’s best interests in mind.
“You’re a junior by credit status, but you may be 18 or 19. It’s thinking about I’m going to make that 19-year-old live in [off campus housing] versus a graduate student,” she said. “That’s really what it came down to.”
According to Camp, graduate students will be able to return to on campus housing, provided that the new residence hall construction is completed by fall 2019. Overall, the adjustment of the housing models was adjusted to accommodate the influx of new students that are expected to enroll in the 2018-2019 school year.
Deanna Voss, dean of undergraduate admissions, explained that admissions works closely with housing to ensure that the number of admitted students does not compromise the available residence halls’ capacity.
“The planning process goes hand-in-hand with many areas of the university, including housing,” explained Voss.
If students have questions or concerns about housing or admissions, they are encouraged to reach out to the respective offices for more information.