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The Hawks' Herald

The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

RWU Housing selection process brings stress for students

Elizabeth Van Liew
Stonewall Terrace 4 is a popular housing option for sophomores at Roger Williams University.

Roger Williams students found themselves in a tumultuous housing selection process as the housing system, operating on a new platform, crashed shortly after opening on April 22, leaving students and parents in a state of frustration. 

Housing selection, a highly anticipated and nerve racking event for students, quickly turned into an ordeal as technical glitches marred the process, leaving students scrambling for answers from RWU Residence Life and Housing. 

In preparation for the housing selection, students had attended a webinar series in which the housing department provided crucial information on how to navigate the new housing software including roommate matching and selecting a space from the various available buildings on campus. However, when the housing selection process began, students found that the information provided in the webinars was of little use as the system malfunctioned immediately. 

Reports flooded in of freezing screens, glitches, and errors in roommate matching, rendering students unable to reserve rooms as intended. The issues persisted into the following two housing selection days, exacerbating frustrations among students and their parents. 

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The inundation of inquiries from students seeking assistance overwhelmed the housing department, prompting them to put phone calls on hold, and send automated email replies to concerned students. Additionally, frustrations with housing were soon to be shared by RWU parents, who took to Facebook to voice their concerns about the mounting issues. 

“I can’t imagine that hundreds of students, who are constantly refreshing, all trying to get in at the same time is going to go well,” says one parent on Facebook. 

In response to escalating frustrations, RWU Chief of Staff Brian Williams addressed parents through the “Official RWU Parent and Family Group,” on Facebook, acknowledging the challenges faced by students during the housing selection process. 

“Our housing team is aware of the challenges of the last few days and are working to improve them as diligently as possible,” Williams said. 

Late in the evening on April 23, Vice President for Student Life, Dr. John King sent out an email to students addressing the housing selection process issues. 

King acknowledged the difficulties students encountered and announced, “Residence Life & Housing has decided to delay rising sophomore housing selection until next Thursday (May 2) in order to continue to work with programmers and system operators to correct errors on their end and improve the student experience.” 

Additionally, Residence Life staff will continue to assist rising juniors and seniors who experienced difficulties the rest of this week and early into next week, said King. 

King also clarified that the difficulties of housing were not due to Baypoint’s closure, stating: “there are more than enough spaces in our housing inventory to accommodate our current and entering students.  We would not have made this decision if the space availability was not sufficient.” 

He also reiterated prior to COVID, the university was discussing Baypoint and the other benefits of closing Baypoint such as more sophomores being on campus or in Almeida, and eliminating the Baypoint shuttle will help to create a more efficient campus shuttle system. 

“We understand and deeply regret that some students experienced added stress and missed classes, studying or work time as they tried to navigate the system. Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation working with our Residence Life and Housing team who are working diligently to improve the system and the student experience,” concluded King. 

As the university works to resolve the technical issues plaguing the housing selection process, students and parents await further updates and remain hopeful for a smoother process in the future. 

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About the Contributors
Caleb Coelho
Caleb Coelho, Herald Reporter
Caleb is a junior studying Political Science with a minor in Marketing. He loves spending time outside, going on hikes, and playing with his dog. Caleb is enthusiastic about sports, particularly baseball and hockey. Caleb also enjoys spending time with friends and family on the weekends.
Lily Neves
Lily Neves, News Editor
Lily has been the News Editor for the Hawks Herald since the Fall of 2023. She enjoys keeping the campus updated on the current events around campus. Lily is a Legal Studies and Political Science double major. Outside of the newsroom, Lily enjoys grabbing coffee with friends, working out, and watching sunsets.
Elizabeth Van Liew
Elizabeth Van Liew, Chief Designer
Lizzie is the Chief Designer of the Hawks' Herald. She is a Graphic Design major and plans to minor in Marketing. On campus she is also Secretary of the Design Club and works in the design lab as part of the Design Collective. For fun she enjoys reading stories, writing them and baking.

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    DanielleApr 25, 2024 at 6:41 am

    They should give the kids a break with their finals, causing all this stress, while these kids are trying to get their work done!!