Beginning January 11, the Class of 2019 will begin selecting their rooms and roommates for next academic year. We have heard a lot of buzz on campus about this topic already, and have talked with Marie Schauder from Residence Life who will fill us in on the housing selection experience.
Fresh@News: Can you explain to us how the Housing Selection process works?
Ms. Schauder: Current freshmen will receive information via email regarding the Upper-Class Housing Selection Process. This information is also currently posted on the Residence Life website for parents to review.
· Students should complete and submit an online Housing Application (available January 11 – 22) and identify their preferred roommate.
· On January 27, students who have submitted a Housing Application will receive an individual housing selection date and time. This specific date and time will be sometime during the second week in February.
· During their designated time in February, students will select a hall and a room assignment for the 2016-2017 academic year.
Fresh@News: What kind of issues come up at this stage of the Housing Selection timeline?
Ms. Schauder: Finding a roommate can be an issue and this is one of the first things that students need to think about. Sometimes students choose to stay with their current roommate or they choose to find someone else with whom they feel they may be more compatible. Mostly it works out, but there can be some painful moments too. Sometimes one half of a freshman roommate pair wants to stay together, and the other wants to live with someone else.
Another one of the issues that can frequently come up is triples. Many students who were assigned to a tripled room wish to remain with their 2 freshman-year roommates. We have a small handful of standard triple rooms in Delurey, Sheehan, St. Mary’s and Alumni Halls. Students may also consider the option of residing in one of the west campus apartments which accommodates 4 (and up to 5) students. Despite offering these triple room options and space in the west campus apartments, the number of students who lived in triples their freshmen year and want to stay together for their sophomore year will likely exceed what we can offer. One of the three will need to find another roommate, select a single, or go into the assignment process looking for one space in a room where another student in a similar situation will select the other bed. Splitting the roommate trio can be difficult for all involved.
Fresh@News: Any thoughts or suggestions to pass along as far as finding a roommate?
Ms. Schauder: Students should seek someone with a similar lifestyle (e.g. study habits, sleeping habits). Usually the students start by looking at the students who currently live in their hall. This is a good strategy, but often it makes just as much sense to look for connections in their classes. Looking for someone who approaches academic work in a similar fashion is often a good place to start. Students should not pick a roommate simply because the other person has an earlier housing selection time. One reason for not doing this is based on compatibility. Another reason is that Residence Life does not permit students to request 1-for-1 room switches after they have selected housing for next year.
Fresh@News: Suppose the student just can't find a roommate before the selection process begins?
Ms. Schauder: This happens more often than students think for a variety of reasons. Usually about 25% of the class does not pick a roommate and will choose a single room assignment or selects to be assigned a random roommate. Students simply go into the process by themselves and choose a room/hall assignment based on what is available at their selection times. Their roommate will be determined by who selects the second space in the double room (or other 3 spaces in an apartment) through the selection process. Often enough the pairs and groups who end up together work out well and happily remain roommates.
Fresh@News: What if a student desires to live in a single room?
Ms. Schauder: We are finding that each year there are more and more students who desire single rooms. We have singles available for upper-class students in Austin, Corr, St. Mary’s 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 selecting a hall and room during their selection time. Students selecting single rooms will be able to reserve a space for a preferred “roommate” near their chosen room, if one is available, at the time of their housing selection.
Fresh@News: So what are the most popular residence halls for the class of 2019?
Ms. Schauder: As we have changed the housing selection process from two separate processes (e.g., one for rising juniors and one for rising sophomores) to one process which allows student of all class years to select housing in any of our upper-class residence halls and apartments, it is hard to say which of the halls will be most popular for the class of 2019. Traditionally, the three most important factors are, "location, location, and location." In the past many rising sophomores wish to live in the "Quad" next year. These two buildings, Sullivan and Sheehan, are on our main campus and house approximately 800 students. Another popular hall located on main campus is Fedigan, which was renovated recently and also has air conditioning. Corr and St. Rita’s Halls are located on main campus, do not have air-conditioning and are popular for their single rooms and location. Students looking for a single room option with air conditioning will want to select a space in Austin or St. Mary’s Halls. Austin is located on the main campus and will be renovated during summer 2016. St. Mary’s is located on the west campus and each room has its own sink. We anticipate that most of our traditional halls will house a combination of all class years.
Fresh@News: What is the most frequent question you receive about the housing lottery and assignment process?
Ms. Schauder: The most frequent question I receive is about requesting special consideration because the student was assigned to a “triple” or to a building on main campus (e.g., Simpson, O’Dwyer, Moriarty or Delurey) or had a challenging roommate situation. Unfortunately, we cannot give special consideration under these circumstances. The percentage of freshmen who fall within one of these three scenarios equals over 60% of the current class. We feel strongly that if we were to give one student experiencing these housing concerns special consideration, we would need to apply this to all, and would remove the “special consideration” factor.
Fresh@News: What advice do you have for parents?
Ms. Schauder: Housing is an issue that has a big emotional charge for
students, and can cause a wide range of emotions to emerge. Students sometimes need to be encouraged to get accurate information from Residence Life before they make assumptions based on what they have heard from friends and on social media. Sometimes the
things they are frustrated about can be fixed, so please encourage your son or daughter to talk to someone before they get too upset. Often students will talk to their parents before they have really found out exactly what is going on, and what possible options
they have in their situation. The first path to take is to have the student try to sort out the problem with someone on campus. If that doesn't seem to be working, we also encourage parents to call us at any time and we will do our best to assist you. Please
be patient as it usually gets sorted out through a discussion with the student.
Also, please remember that the demand to reside in certain halls, especially the West Campus Apartments and Sullivan and Sheehan Halls (the “Quad”) historically exceeds the capacity of those halls. It is possible that students will not secure their first or second choice of housing, especially those with later selection times. It is important that students have thought about other housing options beyond their first or second choices. Please encourage your son or daughter to think about multiple housing options and to have this conversation with their prospective roommate.
Parents can look at our website at www.reslife.villanova.edu, which has a lot of information about the halls and housing at Villanova, and more specific information regarding the Upper-Class Housing Selection Process.
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