Stony Brook is stepping up its game when it comes to streamlining the housing process, looking to use an all-in-one system, StarRez.
Currently, Campus Residences uses five different systems for the housing process. It uses Facebook for roommate matching, SOLAR for room selection, the Campus Residences website for waiting lists, Summer Conference Housing as a separate system, and the Room Management System to track housing information.
“StarRez will allow us to consolidate all these processes and related correspondences in one system,” Assistant Director of Information Technology for Campus Residences Henry Joseph said. “The resident will have a central portal that they can log into for all their housing needs.”
Starting Summer 2015, students will use StarRez for their housing needs. This Online Housing System was created to help students to select housing more easily because some experienced problems in the past.
“I feel like it’s unnecessarily complicated because of the process they have set up,” sophomore biomedical engineering major Jason Iannelli said of the current system. “And also their servers can’t handle the influx of students all trying to pick their rooms at the same time.”
Students will be able to sign in with their NetID and get updates sent to them electronically regarding their housing status, notifications, reminders, finances and new applications with little or no staff involvement, according to a Division of Information Technology newsletter.
Campus Residences is sponsoring the initiative, and DoIT is assisting with its implementation.
“This will make everything housing related more intuitive and decrease any confusion on where to go to complete a process or application,” Joseph said.
Although Campus Residences were not getting complaints from students about the current system, every year some students missed the Online Room Selection process or did not understand how to complete it, Joseph said.
“Having everything in a single streamlined system will decrease confusion and simplify our housing processes for the residents,” Joseph said.
Students experienced crashes in the system as well.
“It comes down to how lucky are you to pick your room before the servers crash, and it leaves a lot of students out in the cold,” Iannelli said. “I didn’t know about this new system coming out, but I am very happy to hear about it. I would like to see the system improved.”
According to the DoIT newsletter, OHS will have an integrated messaging system so staff can quickly communicate with students if necessary via system messages, email or text messages.
StarRez also offers new features. Students will be able to see the location of a room before selecting it, as well as lock and hold a space while deciding using a new “ticket-master system.”
This feature will allow students not to worry that someone else will pick the room they are viewing while actively looking at it. But students can only look at a room for a certain amount of time to prevent those from reserving a room with no intention of selecting it.
StarRez will also allow non-residents to sign up for the waiting lists.