Out with the old and in with the new. Keene State College’s housing selection process has gone digital. Mandy Martin, assistant director for housing operations, said the biggest change is that everything is now online.
She said Residential Life has been planning the change for years, even though this is the first year it has gone into effect.
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Martin said, “We’ve been having regular meetings about it ever since last summer.” She also said there is a lot that Residential Life have to go through in order to get it working. So far they haven’t had any problems according to Martin.
According to Martin, everyone who wanted to participate in the housing process needed to fill out a housing application.
She said since sophomores are required to live on campus, if a freshman didn’t fill out the housing form they are still guaranteed housing, but they don’t get housing until after everyone else has already chosen their rooms.
Another major difference with the new housing process is the change from lottery numbers to time slots, Martin said.
In the past Residential Life used to give out lottery numbers but now with the new system students get a specific time slot that tells them when they get to choose their housing. Martin said the time slots are still given randomly. Martin said upperclassmen choose housing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21 and freshmen and sophomores choose from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 22 and 23.
According to Martin, the housing selection, which is completed online, closes after 5 p.m. because there is not enough support for students at night if they have any questions or need help. For students who missed their time slots the process re-opens the next day on March 23 at 9 a.m.
The intervals for the time slots are only one minute apart, said Martin.
According to Martin, underclassmen and upperclassman have two different pools to choose from when choosing housing so it doesn’t matter that upperclassman choose first; “this is a common misconception.” The distinction between upperclassmen and an underclassmen depends on credits.
It determines their class standing both with the school academic wise and for housing. However, according to Martin, Residential Life and the college have different guidelines.
“For the school you must have 60 credits to be a junior, but for housing we only require 52 credits to consider someone a junior. We understand sometimes things happen.”
She said when dealing with credits they handle it as a case-by-case situation. “We encourage students to come in if they have any questions.”
Sophomore Hillary Smith said she prefers the new housing system compared to the old one. “It was really crazy last year and we had to wait forever.” She also said it is just easier and you don’t have to go anywhere.
In the past the housing process was held in person in the student center on one day. Martin said this process has been a learning curve for everyone. For freshmen students this is the first time they are going through Keene’s housing selection. Freshman at Keene State College, Domenic Iacocca, said he thinks it’s easy online. “It makes it really convenient.”
He did, however, say he wish he got more information about how the process really works. He said the most confusing part for him was the time slots. “I don’t get the whole time slot thing. Do I have up to that time or after that time?” Martin said the time slot number determines when you can start, it’s not a deadline.
Another freshman student, Ashley Defilippo, said she was also confused by the housing process. “I feel like it’s sort of overwhelming and confusing because there’s not that much guidance.” Defilippo said she wished Residential Life had something mandatory that every freshman had to go to because no one really knows what they’re doing.
Martin said Residential Life did do in-person informational sessions in the freshman residence halls, but it wasn’t mandatory.
Martin also mentioned that even though the new process is different for sophomores and older students, freshmen have never participated in the old system so nothing really changed for them. Even though many changes have been made to the housing selection process, some things still remain the same. According to the Keene State College website students must pay the $300 housing deposit between March 26 and April 6.
Even if a student did not get a room selection, students cannot be on the wait list if they do not pay the housing deposit. Also according to the website, students cannot give someone else their time slot. The Keene State housing selection process has gone through a major change but Martin said that Residential Life has a high degree of confidence in this new system.
Victoria Ronan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org