The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

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

Underclassman housing selection goes smoothly second time around

Elizabeth Van Liew

Since underclassman housing selection resumed on May 2, Associate Director of Residence Life and Housing, Tim Valton said the delay greatly helped to solve previous issues that arose during the senior and junior housing selection process. 

The most common difficulties facing rising seniors and juniors during their housing selection process from April 22-24 was access to the housing platform itself. Valton said Monday April 22 saw a server crash and Tuesday April 23 saw a cache file fail, both of which did not allow students to access the server. Valton said after the 23rd, there were no issues with server connectivity for students. 

For rising sophomores, Valton said the most common issue was user error with the housing system as well and confusion on students’ parts as to when they were selecting. The confusion of when students were picking mostly came from the priority and non priority deadlines and students matching with someone who did not have priority. 

Valton said there was an issue on Thursday, May 2 because there were login issues caused by a bot interfering with the server. 

Story continues below advertisement

The delaying of rising sophomore housing selection was a difficult decision, according to Valton, as students would be selecting right before finals and group project due dates. 

Ultimately, Valton said, “There’s no reason for us to stress students out, and stress [ourselves] out, and we want to do it right.” 

The biggest aspect of selection that changed between upperclassmen and underclassmen selection came from the implementation of time slots. Valton said the time slots allowed for a more ‘normal’ selection process as compared to previous years and helped the Department of Residence Life and Housing staff to prioritize who to help and provide support to those who were more urgent. 

In previous years, time slots were considered to be the norm in housing selection for all class years, however, Valton said the switch came from the new company and their functionality. When Valton first started talking to the company in February and March about time slots, the company said they were unable to do time slots in that period of time, and the Residence Life and Housing Department compromised with them to try to make all students choosing at once work. 

Valton said, “We want to make sure [housing selection] is as equal and fair for as many people as physically possible.” 

Valton explained that both time slots and everyone choosing at once were both equally equitable and were therefore both good options for implementing during selection. 

However, the single timed selection did not work out as well as Valton hoped. The Department of Residence Life and Housing support services could not take the volume of support needed, and from there, Valton said the department worked with the company to develop time slots for underclassmen. 

The Department of Residence Life and Housing had four main support resources for students, including the Zoom Help Desk, in-person support, phone calls and emails. 

Valton said the Zoom Help Desk was the most common way students sought help from the department, with even 75 students in the waiting room at one point. There were about five staff on the zoom helping students, and the department kept track of urgent issues that needed follow up and are continuing to address them. Valton also said annually, the Zoom Help Desk averages between 400-500 students utilizing it for help. 

Valton also said emails were most difficult for the Department of Residence Life and Housing to keep track of because of the sheer amount of emails they were receiving. Additionally, Valton said the automatic reply students received steered them towards the Help Desk as another method of communication and help during selection. 

There are students who did not receive housing and are currently considered ‘Hall TBA.’ Valton assured that all students who are currently Hall TBA will get housing assignments, and that sophomores who are Hall TBA are not going to end up in Maple or Cedar, as most of the vacancies will come from wither Stonewall or Willow with sporadic open rooms across the rest of campus. 

Overall, Valton acknowledged that the 2024 housing selection process was a stressful one for both students and staff. He also said the Residence Life and Housing Department is receptive to constructive feedback about the process, and they are focused on making the selection process as equitable and fair as possible. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
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.

Comments (0)

All The Hawks' Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *