Staff Editorial

We at The Lawrentian support the university’s decision to remain a four-year residential campus, but there is room for improvement in the way that students apply for housing. The housing selection process is often fraught with confusion, stress and a lack of accessible and organized information.
Much of the confusion surrounding the process stems from the ambiguity in the descriptions, availability and locations of rooms as presented on the Campus Life website.
This information is too buried and difficult to navigate to allow students to adequately research their options and preferences.
Housing information sessions are helpful, yet they suffer from the lack of a cohesive and simple overview of campus-wide living arrangements. Whereas these sessions could serve as forums for clarification, they are instead one of the only ways students can fully access relevant information.
Last year, many students were left without housing assignments after the process was completed. These Lawrentians were eventually given housing, though many were placed on the third and fourth floors of Brokaw, a building that was not posted as an available option during the selection process.
We at The Lawrentian believe that Campus Life could streamline this process by renovating its website. The creation of an interactive campus map that would include the availability of rooms in various residences would prepare students to arrive at the selection sessions more informed. Information such as more comprehensive floor plans, number of rooms available, types of rooms – singles, doubles, triples, quads and medical housing – and room and facility amenities could all link from this map. Students viewing this online tool would be able to easily access specific criteria.
Additionally, room showings – like those given to prospective students – could give current students the opportunity to see their options in person. If one room of each type were available in each residence for an open house, students would gain a better understanding of the diversity of housing opportunities on campus.
As the designations for formal group housing and theme housing vary annually, their application processes and results should be more transparent. However, these decisions do not affect the availability of housing in the dorms; Campus Life should post all dorm availabilities in advance of the lottery number release date. Consequently, students could begin formulating their housing plans and finalize them once all information has been released.
Were these changes to be implemented, the selection process would be a more cohesive, organized experience that would allow students to find suitable housing without many of the stresses of the current system.