While prepping for midterm exams and returning from spring break, there is something that should be in the back of every student’s mind: room selection.

Gershwin in Roth Quad is a cooking building where students do not  have to have a meal plan. (WESLEY ROBINSON / THE STATESMAN)
Gershwin in Roth Quad is a cooking building where students do not have to have a meal plan. (WESLEY ROBINSON / THE STATESMAN)

To students, especially current freshmen or students who wish to live on campus for the first time, this process can seem daunting. However, with a few steps, the stress of room selection can be alleviated.

Ava Rubino, a freshman health science major, was just recently able to move onto campus after returning from spring break.

“I moved onto campus because I felt I needed to take myself away from all the distractions from home and really focus on my school work and it’s 10 times better than commuting,” Rubino said.

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Like many other students this semester, Rubino had been waitlisted for housing. Some students typically wait until the last minute to apply for housing because they are uncomfortable with the process and confused by the steps.

The first step that students should take is to sign onto their SOLAR accounts and go to the campus residences section. Here, students should immediately pay their continuing room deposit of $200. This can be paid with an online check or credit card. Once this information clears, the student will be able to go to the 10-step room selection process.

After accepting terms and conditions of this process, students will receive a contract ID number. It is essential to write down this number immediately. This number is unique to each student and is only used for roommate or suitemate pairing.

Next, students choose a meal plan. For the meal plan, the university will ask what type of meal plan is preferred based on the housing.

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Each tab will have the default number of two, meaning that the student will automatically be put on the university’s default meal plan of silver.

There will also be an option to put money into a campus bookstore account, but this is not mandatory.

Students, after selecting a meal plan option, will have to choose a housing option.

For example, they choose if they want to live in suite or corridor, single or double occupancy, or even stay in the room they are in now or move into another room in their current building.

The most important part of the room selection process for some is the roommate selection. In this section, one of the pair has to serve as a “group leader” and enter the contract ID of their prospective roommate and invite them to live with them.

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The other person has to sign onto SOLAR and accept this request in order to become roommates with them.

The group leader is responsible for logging onto the database at the scheduled appointment time and selecting a room assignment for the pair.

The same process works for suitemate selection if one is choosing suite style.

Due to the high occupancy of housing, it may be very difficult to switch buildings. To do this, someone in the current building where a prospective student wishes to reside can make a proxy to invite the other person into the building to live.

This process is very similar to the normal roommate selection in that a leader is making a group and inviting one or more people depending on housing style to come and live with them.

Based on one’s current living situation and status, appointments will be scheduled on SOLAR to select specific rooms accordingly starting April 8 unless students are staying in their current rooms.

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The Office of Campus Residences will have extended office hours from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The online Facebook Roomsync app is also available to help students in finding potentially compatible roommates.

As of press time, the Department of Campus Residences has yet to comment about housing for the 2013-2014 academic year.

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