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[Fresh] Rooms and roommates for sophomore year

This is a posting from Fresh@News, Villanova's e-mail newsletter for parents and friends of the class of 2012.  See below for information about subscribing or unsubscribing from this service.  One of the hot topics on campus these days is residence halls and roommates for next year. To help our subscribers get a sense of what this is all about, this week Fresh@News interviews Ms. Marie Schauder, Assistant Director, Office of Residence Life. 


Note: some of our students hold off on joining activities during the fall semester of freshman year, but by now are ready to spread their wings a bit and get more involved. To help these students, we offer a spring activities forum scheduled for Tuesday, January 27, at 6:00 p.m., where many of our organizations will be available to talk about what they do, and there are plenty of opportunities for second-semester freshmen to get involved.


Fresh@News: In a few weeks, the class of 2012 will begin selecting their rooms and roommates for next year. We've heard more than a few conversations about this topic already; can you tell us what the experience is like for the members of the class of 2012?

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. Rita’s. 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 student’s 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 2012?

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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No official news or policy statements are included in this service.  The postings provide supplemental background information for parents and friends of the class.  While the information is as accurate as possible, all information is subject to change without notice.