Columbia Housing, Residential Life, and the Residence Hall Leadership Organization announced the transition of housing selection to a completely online platform on Thursday afternoon. This will occur alongside other changes to the process, including the restructuring of group selection and the extension of the timeline to help lessen the stress of room selection for students.
According to Executive Director at RHLO Morgan Kang CC ’20, these changes follow conversations alongside Director of Advocacy and Policy Andrew Rodriguez CC ’20 with residence hall directors, resident advisors, and other advisors that revealed that the housing selection process was the period in which they managed the most wellness checks and crisis calls last year. She says this information informed the restructuring of the selection process to ensure that students can attempt to realize their ideal housing situations.
“It is the most stressful time of the year for people. The ultimate goal [of this change is] to reduce the stress around housing selection—and it can really affect [friendships], so we want to be able to mitigate that,” Kang said.
Previously, students had the option to make in-person appointments or wait to select a room online. Students had to use the feed to the Housing website and third party tools in order to track the availability of options. With the new online platform, all appointments will take place online with live updates made to outline the availability of housing options. RHLO will still provide assistance through drop-in hours next semester.
Groups can now be composed of two to 10 students, an increase from the previous maximum of eight students. Groups will also no longer be regrouped, meaning that students will be able to select multiple rooms that can be filled to capacity rather than having to be reconfigured into a new housing group. Every group will assign a group leader, who will be charged to select the combination of suites desired by the housing group.
In an effort to simplify the lottery system that indicates the order of selection, groups will now receive numbers according to class standing: Seniors are positioned from 1-1000, juniors from 2001-3000, and sophomores from 4001-5000. In between these ranges lie housing groups with a combination of class years.
Additionally, students with disabilities continue to be able to enter the selection process with a housing group. If their group is unable to obtain a room approved by Disability Services, the student with the DS accommodation will be moved to a room that accommodates for their needs while the housing group will continue on with the selection process.
In order to address any questions about the new process, RHLO will host an open meeting for all undergraduates on Nov. 19. In the spring, registration will occur between Feb. 28 and March 12.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that students with Disability Service accommodations could previously not enter the selection process and students had no way to track to the availability of options prior to when they arrived for their in-person appointment. Spectator regrets the error.