Many students at Stony Brook University focused their conversations on room selection for the upcoming academic year in the days leading up to March 28, the first day of room selection. From the new Toll Drive buildings, to requests for roommates and suitemates, social media buzzed with anticipation for the upcoming process.
There was a sense of urgency on the days before the process began. Estrella Santana, a student employee and senior psychology student, said that she and her colleagues had to take a late break at work to ensure their desired room was secured at the allotted time slot.
“I had to wait a whole week to select a single in my quad,” Estrella said. “And the room I wanted ended up being taken, due to me having to wait that long.”
The new room selection process was based on a lottery. Students with higher class standing received priority when selecting a space, followed by groups that completely filled a room, suite or apartment, then students who were returning to their building and quad.
“It was hectic,” said Austin Barney, a sophomore mathematics student, referring to the rush that came with finding people to fill spaces in order to get priority.
The online housing system, StarRez, provided residents with a roommate search tool to help with the process of filling up suites, apartments and rooms. But some students went further and used Facebook to find a roommate.
The new process was designed to make it fair to students whose rooms were on hold for new residents, so that they could still return to their building. Associate Director of Residential Programs Alan deVries said that while the former selection process offered priority to return to the same room, in practice, 40 percent of all residents did not have the opportunity to do so based on space holds for new students.
In terms of any future changes to the room selection process, deVries said that campus residences will use this year’s feedback to implement any improvements.
“We will evaluate the Room Selection process once it is fully over, later this month,” he said. “That is where we will assess feedback about the process. Any changes we introduce to the Room Selection process for future years will be the result of that evaluation.”