The on-campus housing process is a stressful period for students, especially those searching for roommates. University Housing started hosting roommate matching events in hopes of combatting some of the difficulties that come with finding roommates. These events were both online and in person, and offered students the opportunity to meet other students searching for roommates.
Farrah Waddell, a third-year studying biological sciences, said the traditional way of assigning roommates through housing hasn’t been super effective in the past. He wishes the questions University Housing asks were more personal.
“Allow students to show their likes and dislikes, rather than, ‘I clean the room. I like it to be quiet,’” Waddell said. “If you just do it like that, at the end of the day, you're gonna be living with a stranger. Like, you might both keep the room clean. But you both actually hate each other.”
Waddell also said the process seemed to prioritize first-years over upperclassmen, seeming to dismiss those who are about to complete their degrees.
Mohammad Almutawa, a graduate student in electrical engineering, said finding roommates as an international student can be a difficult task because of limited time in class.
“If you're an international student it's really tough actually to find a roommate that suits you,” Almutawa said. “If very few people in the same region as you are studying in the same university you have to choose international or local students.”
Davis Kiess, a first-year studying computer science, said the time University Housing began and concluded applications seemed somewhat early.
“A lot of people are just trying to get themselves settled in and they don't really want to think about where they're going to go next semester,” Kiess said.
Chester Miller, the director of residential learning, said the roommate matching events are an informal opportunity for the University to provide space for students to connect with others.
“It's not just about finding someone that aligns with their study habits and academics,” Miller said. “I think some of the students might be interested in forming genuine friendships with other students.”
Miller said it’s important for students to attend multiple of these events.
“We know students might come to a particular roommate matching date and time and not connect with anyone who’s interested in the same style or just generally not connect, and we want them to explore as many options as possible,” Miller said.
Some students have found success at these events. Holden Stockard, a third-year studying business administration, said he enjoyed going to the event and thinks it was a promising way to meet people.
“This event was actually pretty good for finding people,” Stockard said. “I was a little worried before, but after the event I’m feeling okay.”
Abbey Campbell, a first-year studying mechanical engineering, said after attending a few events, she was able to find a roommate.
“I feel pretty lucky I actually found somebody today,” Campbell said. “For the first roommate matching events I went to, I met people and no one was really clicking, but it was just so stressful meeting random people.”
Other students said the advertising of the events could be improved. Ryan Dix, a first-year studying business administration, said the events were hard to find and he felt fortunate to find it. Almutawa said they could put flyers around campus and display advertisements on the various TVs in the libraries and in lecture halls.
To learn more about University Housing, check out their website.
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