As students await the opening of the new residence hall next fall, many are wondering what major changes will be placed upon the housing application process.
The goal of the new process is to provide convenience for students. Since most students are becoming technologically dependent, the new process will allow most of the housing arrangements to be completed online.
“What’s great about the new process going online is that it creates time stamps for both continuing and returning students,” said Juan Regalado, director of student housing and residential education.” Students will be able to keep documents for themselves.”
Perhaps the biggest change is the tentative method of allowing students to select their rooms when applying online.
The change gives freedom to continuing students and provides the option of being able to room with friends they may have made throughout the course of their semesters.
In order for students to have this option, they must first complete the online application, which involves electronically agreeing to the “terms and conditions,” paying the application fee, and not having any holds placed on student accounts.
Housing applications for the next academic year become available Feb. 28, with the priority deadline for participating in the room selection option beginning March 16.
One of the biggest issues involving the housing process has been the priority basis in which students receive residency by seniority status, or by a first-come, first-served basis.
“Since the last process turned out to be controversial among students, the new process hopes to put a sort of balance for new and returning students,” Regalado said.
On March 20 and 21, students who currently live on campus and complete their online application by the priority deadline will be first to participate in selecting their rooms. The order that students get to pick their rooms will go by class ranking and within each ranking, students will get to pick in order of application completion.
Then, on March 22 and 23, students currently living off campus with online applications complete will be able to select their rooms. The order, again, will be based on class ranking and by time of completed applications.
Students who do not complete their applications by the priority deadline will be able to choose their rooms beginning March 26 on a first come, first served basis.
The new housing process hopes to end the debate over who should have priority with receiving residency.
“Change is always good and definitely needed. You just can’t keep something the same forever,” Ayana Burton, junior international studies major, said.
Another change in the housing process is that students will no longer have to submit a security deposit.This year, students will receive a refund of their $250 deposit. Current residents can choose to apply $150 of the refund to their housing applications for next year, and still receive $100.
Space allocation will also be a focus for the new housing method. Stu-Han will no longer be a women-only residence hall, and will soon become co-ed.
“I think it’s great that there are finally changes to make it easier and more comfortable for students, but there’s still a worry about space for everyone,“ Paula Zepeda, sophomore international studies major, said.
Time will tell how the new housing changes will work with the new residence hall, Vista La Verne.
“I’m excited and nervous at the same time. We will be testing it out and I know it won’t be perfect, but I hope it benefits the students,“ Regalado said.
Robert Penalber can be reached at email@example.com.
The story “Housing embraces technology for applications” which ran on page 1 of the Feb. 17 issue of the Campus Times gave an incorrect date for priority deadline. The deadline is March 9 not March 16. Also, only students who currently live on campus are eligible for a security deposit refund. Continuing students who live off campus won’t have this option. The Campus Times regrets the errors.