Housing process could be worse, but some improvements can also be made

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April 6, 2009

Housing is a complicated process at every college. Looking at either large universities such as UC Berkeley or small private colleges like Dominican University, there doesn’t seem to be a simple, stream-lined process that takes into consideration all a student’s concerns when choosing where to live while attending school. That being said, we would like to thank Mills for not utilizing a first-come, first-serve room draw process found at some other institutions, and allowing us to do things like “pulling-up” friends that we would like to live next to. However, there are still some flaws in our system that we think can be remedied.

St. Mary’s College of California has a unique new system that is streamlined using online steps in their housing process, where students fill out a proxy card if they need it and choose their roommates. Then each student is assigned an appointment time when they choose their rooms.

We understand that Mills only developed online class registration in the past few years and so may not be ready yet to put another complicated process on the internet. However, wouldn’t it be more effective to receive an appointment time instead of waiting outside the Student Union for hours?

There also exists a variety of preferences when it comes to student housing options. Although many of us live in single rooms and some of us would like to keep it that way, there is a population of students who have no preference of where they will be living. On the other hand, there are also students who have an ideal living situation that they are hoping for. There should be some sort of ‘no preference’ option for those students who just want a room anywhere or would like to be surprised. That way, other students who have specific rooms in mind may have a better chance at getting them. Of course there is no guarantee, but with such a small student body, we believe there should be a greater ability to control one’s living arrangement.

Lastly, when it comes to housing in apartments, we agree with the application process and the different priority statuses.

However, implementing an interview process before an apartment is offered to a student, or group ofstudents, might prove useful. It can be a short process that can make a big difference in deciding what groups of students may be more able to stay in an apartment throughout the whole year – and not just for the first month. Written roommate agreements may look conciliatory but the real test could be a face-to-face one.


Housing process could be worse, but some improvements can also be made was published on April 6, 2009 in Opinions

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