Decrease in roommate switch applications speeds up process

Because the number of applications for a roommate switch decreased this year, the process was faster for students who did apply.

Natalie Bautista, Writer

After taking away the option to switch rooms and roommates last year, Housing Services reinstated the option to students this semester. Only 28 forms requesting either a room or roommate change were submitted to Housing between the Oct. 17 start date and the deadline of Oct. 28. This showed a decrease in applications from years past.

The process used to occur in the last few weeks of classes and finals, leaving many students with a negative housing experience, said Heidi Herchelroath, the Housing manager. Housing Services decided to terminate the operation temporarily until it could find a more efficient way to carry out the procedure.

Housing switch meant for students with roommate conflicts

Housing offered students two options. The pull-in option, which started Oct. 17, was for students who had an empty bed and wanted to bring in a new roommate. This option was available a week earlier than the new room option. The new room option started Oct. 24 for the students who wanted to move, but didn’t have anywhere specific in mind. Submitted forms were usually processed within a day or two of submission and students were able to move into their new housing accommodations within the next 48 hours.

“The room change option is meant for an individual who would like to move to another space; it is not a full room of students trying to find an empty room as empty rooms were not part of the offer,” Herchelroath said.

She noted that both the process of acquiring a new roommate and of switching rooms are more for those with roommate conflicts or those who would like to live with a friend.

Rachael Chapman, a freshman music major, was living in Alpha Hall before applying to room with her friend in Horton Hall.

“My best friend lives in Horton, and her former roommate had moved out due to unavoidable circumstances, so she was living on her own in a room intended for three people. It just seemed a given that I would leave my cramped triple in Alpha for a spacious double in Horton with my best friend,” Chapman said.

Switch offered earlier than previous years

In previous years, as many as 400 students would seek to participate in a room or roommate change at the end of the first semester.

Timing was a big part of the problem because students sought to make these changes toward the end of the semester, during the last few busy weeks of school. Herchelroath noted that in providing this opportunity now, it would give students a less-stressful environment to work with.

“This is a good time of the year, students aren’t stressed out right now working on their way towards finals and finishing well, and it gets everyone settled prior to the new students coming in for interterm and spring,” Herchelroath said.

Decrease in roommate switches made process quicker

As the demand for new rooms and roommates had significantly decreased from previous years, Housing was able to make this year’s process quicker and more convenient. Herchelroath attributed this decrease in demand to the better timing of this year’s process and the fact that she felt Housing had more success in roommate matching and selection this semester. Once students got all necessary signatures, and the forms were processed, they could check-in upon receiving a confirmation email and start moving the next day.

Sophomore Lydia Luksch, a business major, had a room to herself as her roommate was unable to return to Biola and decided to have a friend on the hall move in with her.

“Housing did a really good job of making the process smooth and convenient. My new roommate just had to fill out a form, get a couple of signatures and the room key. Since the process was so quick, when she turned the form in the on the first day she was able to move in two days later,” Luksch said.

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