On March 1, the beginning of housing selection took place for returning St. Mary’s students. Student housing deposits were due in at 11:59 pm last Friday, along with a completed housing contract. Notable changes to the selection project are the use of a new St. Mary’s housing application system, and the launch of the new open housing program. Leading up to the start of housing selection, Director of Residence Life Joanne Goldwater arranged two forums for students to learn about the changes being made and how to use the new system.
After cashing a $200 initial deposit, St. Mary’s students living on campus next academic year filled out their contact information, roommate preferences and selected one of the new meal plans to complete the housing contract. Applications for different types of housing are due over the course of the month of March. “This year, we’re using a third party software called ‘Residence’, says Derek Young, Associate Director of Residence Life.
“We’re currently using the same provider to manage our judicial or conduct system.” The new system is powered by the housing software provider, Symplicity. Symplicity allows students to group their roommates through a password system, access monitor records of housing deposits and payments, keep track of applications and contract status and view available rooms.
The open housing will allow students to live in gender-neutral housing. Until this upcoming semester, male and female students have been allowed to live in together in suite, townhouse and apartment settings, but were not allowed to share a room. The new program will allow male and female student to room in Prince George Hall’s first left wing.
“There are not many changes to the current system.” says Young. “Students will still choose and apply based on the number of credits they have.” The room lottery is the biggest change made to the housing selection process. Students will be allowed to view available houses in accordance to number of housing credits. Applicants will select the place of their choice based on the spaces still open.
Derek Young also says that as of the first day of the housing selection process, the reception to the system has been overall positive. Although he says there has been ‘a little confusion this year trying to get people acclimated to the new system”, students seem to be having an easy time navigating the system, with complaints to Residence Life being mostly confusion about when certain applications will be available, and if things like the roommate profile must be filled out if an applicant already has a roommate.
“I think the system is certainly a lot more well organized,” said one junior. “I was confused at first about what the contract was and whether I should make a group for my friends or not, but after reading the emails sent out it wasn’t much of a problem anymore.” Due dates for the different types of housing are posted around the residence halls, and are available on the Residence Life website. For questions on housing selection, the Office of residence life can be reached by email or phone (x 4207).