One of the most dreadful times for college students is choosing where to live the following year.

Now Keene State College has changed the housing selection and is asking the students to make a decision during fall semester rather than in the spring.

Trying to figure out whom to live with and where, while making sure that there are enough people to fill the space, is stressful enough.

Moving it up to fall semester doesn’t give students enough time to think about who would be the best to live with, especially as a first-year student.

I had the opportunity to read the housing e-mail that was sent to on-campus students from Keene State Associate Dean of Students Kent Drake-Deese.

“The beginning of the housing process for upper-class students will take place in early November and, actual housing selection, in early December,” Drake-Deese stated in the email.

In January/February a second lottery will be held for the students who have not already secured housing on campus.

I’m sure that Keene is holding the lottery earlier in the school year in order to keep stress off of students in the spring, but I don’t feel that this is effective.

Personally, my friends and I had a hard enough time trying to figure out our housing situation in the spring, never mind moving it ahead by five months.

One aspect of the e-mail that I agreed with is being able to choose a roommate from the entire residential community, including first-year students.

This opens up options and makes it easier for students when deciding who they’re best fit to live with.

It also allows for all classes of students, whether they’re a first-year or senior, to mingle with multiple people and hopefully make new connections.

However, the new housing selection process mostly takes away opportunities for first-year students. There are less options for housing when students can choose to stay in the same building more than once.

In addition, students who currently live in suites or apartments will be able to “squat” in their same room for the following year.

This means students can keep their housing assignment currently for the following school year and will not have to participate in the housing selection.

Allowing students to “squat” in their same room will remove the weight from many students’ shoulders.

The e-mail did not discuss housing prices, but from my own research on the Keene website I’ve found residence halls to be a bit pricey.

Allowing students to “squat” in a residence hall is a great perk because they can choose to pay the same price compared to living in another building that may be out of price range.

Not only are the students happy, but their parents won’t have to dig deep into their wallets.

Heather O’Brien can be contacted at

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