[Fresh] Who are ya rooming with next year?

john immerwahr (john.immerwahr@villanova.edu)
Tue, 23 Jan 2007 16:39:08 -0500

Interview with Marie Schauder, Assistant Director, Office of Residence Life

Fresh@News: In a few weeks, the class of 2010 will begin selecting their
rooms and roommates for next year. We've heard more than a few
conversations about this topic already?

Ms. Schauder: This process has been on the minds of the freshmen class
for months. Who to live with is a big decision for a college student,
and this topic will pick up more steam for the next few weeks.

Fresh@News: So how does the process work?

Ms. Schauder: The first step is for the students to find a roommate for
next year. Sometimes they stay with their current roommate or they find
someone else with whom they feel they may be more compatible.

Fresh@News: What kind of issues come up at this stage of the game?

Ms. Schauder: Mostly it works out, but there are some painful moments
too. Sometimes one half of a roommate team wants to stay together, and
the other wants to live with someone else. There can be hurt feelings
and awkwardness.

Fresh@News: Any thoughts or suggestions to pass along as far as finding
a roommate?

Ms. Schauder: Usually the students start by looking at the students who
live on their hall. This is a good strategy, but often it makes just as
much sense to look for connections in their classes. One of the big
conflicts that comes up between roommates has to do with study habits,
so finding someone who approaches academic work in a similar fashion is
often a good way to find a roommate.

Fresh@News: Suppose the student just can't find a roommate?

Ms. Schauder: That happens all of the time, for a variety of reasons.
Usually about 25% of the class does not pick a roommate at all. They
just go into the process by themselves and we assign them a roommate (as
we did for this year). Of course, they will meet that roommate this
spring and have an opportunity to get to know the person. Often enough
the groups who get put together by us work out really well and stay
together in the future.

Fresh@News: What if a student desires to live in a single room?

Ms. Schauder: We are finding that each year there are more students who
request single rooms. We have singles available for sophomores in
Austin, Corr, Alumni and St. Ritaís. The rooms vary in size. I recommend
that students interested in single rooms, go to these halls to take a
look at the various options available before listing their building and
room preferences on the housing lottery preference forms.

Fresh@News: What happens next?

Ms. Schauder: The next step is that the students will be notified via
email that the lottery preference form is available through NOVASIS.
This is an online housing application form. This form will include the
studentís lottery number. Students fill out the form indicating what
buildings they desire to live in and with whom they want to live. We run
a report which lists the students who submitted their preference forms
in lottery number order with their housing and roommate preferences, and
then try to fill their requests as best we can. As you can imagine,
sometimes people try to find ways to beat the system, but since we have
been doing this for awhile we've found ways to prevent most of the
abuses. In addition to the lottery preference form, students and parents
will receive a housing lottery and assignment brochure after Spring
Break, which explains the lottery and assignment processes.

Fresh@News: So what are the most popular residence halls for the class
of 2010?

Ms. Schauder: As in any real-estate operation, the three most important
factors are, "Location, location, and location." A lot of first year
students want to live next year in the "Quad." These two buildings,
Sullivan and Sheehan, are on our main campus and house 800 sophomore
students (about half of the class). Actually the rooms in these
buildings are not as nice as some of our other housing, but sophomores
really enjoy being in the center of things. If they have a class in
Bartley they can literally "roll out of bed" to go to class. Since so
many sophomores live in these halls, a lot of students enjoy the social
opportunities. Another popular hall is Good Counsel, which is on South
Campus. I think the attraction there is the air conditioning and
spacious rooms.

Fresh@News: What advice do you have for parents?

Ms. Schauder: Housing is an issue that has a big emotional charge for
students, and a wide range of feelings can be evoked. The first point to
make is that students sometimes need to be encouraged to get accurate
information before they fly off the handle. Sometimes the things they
are upset about can actually be fixed, so they need to be encouraged to
talk to someone before they get too upset. Often enough they will talk
to their parents before they have really found out exactly what is going
on, then the parents pick up the concern of the students. The first line
of defense is to have the student try to sort out the problem with
someone here. If that doesn't seem to be working, we also encourage
parents to call us at any time. Of course usually everything happens at
once in our office, so please understand that we may not be able to
answer your question immediately. Please be patient, usually it all gets
sorted out. Parents can also look at our website at
www.reslife.villanova.edu, which has a lot of information about housing
at Villanova. All of the housing information will be posted on the
website by the second week of March. This allows parents to view the
information that we send to the students.

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