Sophomore housing assignment issues from last year leave freshmen concerned

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Sophomore housing assignment issues from last year leave freshmen concerned

After the sophomore housing website stopped working during multiple sign-up days, ORL established two separate sign-up days. Marquette Wire stock photo.

After the sophomore housing website stopped working during multiple sign-up days, ORL established two separate sign-up days. Marquette Wire stock photo.

After the sophomore housing website stopped working during multiple sign-up days, ORL established two separate sign-up days. Marquette Wire stock photo.

After the sophomore housing website stopped working during multiple sign-up days, ORL established two separate sign-up days. Marquette Wire stock photo.

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After the issues the Office of Residence Life faced last year with the online sophomore housing system, ORL plans to make changes in order to prevent further errors, Sean Berthold, associate director of ORL, said.

Berthold did not provide specifics about what changes ORL has planned.

During sign-ups last year, the website crashed twice. This forced students to sign up multiple times on different days. These issues occurred because of configuration errors, Berthold said, but IT services and ORL’s vendor resolved the problems.

Due to these problems, ORL plans to implement some additional changes to its system this year, Berthold said.

“We hope that (the changes this year) will allow students time to explore additional options with their roommates as high-demand buildings or room types begin to fill,” Berthold said. “University and vendor staff will be on hand through the process to assist with any questions and give advice on any technical issues.”

Although ORL is making changes to the system, it is keeping the randomized selection for sign-up times the same. Last year, students received a time from 4-9 p.m. by random draw.  

“It’s just luck of the draw,” Shane Brady, a sophomore in the College of Communication, said. “I know other schools do it differently, where what you pick is sort of what you end up with. I’d say students should have more of a say.” 

Brady said, with the current system, students cannot do anything about signup times.

“If you don’t get the place you want to be in, don’t think it’s the end of the world,” Brady said. “For times, you can’t really do anything about it. Take what it gives you.”

Given all the issues from last year, some freshmen said they feel nervous to do their own housing assignments.

“I’m just hoping it is not as much of a train wreck as the sophomores I know say it was,” Nolan Cox, a freshman in the College of Nursing, said.

However, Berthold said housing isn’t as complicated as many people think. If students familiarize themselves and have options, sign-ups will take less than 10 minutes, Berthold said.

Brady said the first time the website crashed, his two roommates were on the phone with ORL for an hour. He said they didn’t get any guidance.

“They were really like, ‘What’s going on?’” Brady said. “They were going throughout the dorm trying to talk to other people, asking if anyone’s (room assignment) was going through.”

Some students got their desired residence hall the first time, but then didn’t end up getting it in the end.

“(I) wanted to do a quad with (three) of our other friends, and we got a quad, and then they reset it,” Coner McFarlin, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said.

When these problems occurred, McFarlin’s friends went to ORL to see what was happening.

“There was a lot of people (at ORL) waiting to talk,” Tyler Killion, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said. “I know that they were upset.”

When sign-ups finally came back online, there were no quads in any residence hall remaining. Killion and McFarlin chose to live in a double room in Straz Tower instead.

 

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