| 03.20.2018

New and improved — Providing students a more enjoyable residence hall experience


University of Idaho Housing has recently made changes to the way students apply for housing.

“Our application changed this year,” marketing coordinator for UI housing Cara Lehman said.”Students are now self-selecting, meaning they get to choose their floor and room.”

Lehman said students that have formerly lived in the residence halls will notice that this is a substantial change. Previously, rooms were randomly assigned, with each student only being able to request one other roommate. With the new changes, students can choose their floor and room, and they are able to see the names of other students in those rooms. Students should act fast though, as the process is first come, first serve.

University Housing is also working toward creating a more welcoming experience for freshmen in the dorms.

“We’re going to have two first year experiences in Wallace this year. Two of the floors in Willey have changed to freshmen only. We’re doing a lot more that’s focused on freshmen students,” Lehman said.

Students can apply for housing by calling the housing department, or through VandalWeb.  Lehman also noted that students must be accepted and enrolled to apply.

“In the application, students are asked 15 questions about themselves. Anything from study habits, sleeping habits, what they like to do, what they like to do on the weekends, just really a big overview of interests and personality,” Lehman said.

This information is then displayed when students are looking for a roommate, creating a sort of matchmaking system, Lehman said. This is a big improvement over the previous applications that only asked if the student was a smoker or non-smoker.

Once students move in on August 21, they are encouraged to look into joining community council. Each building — LLCs, Wallace Complex, Theophilus tower — has their own student government. Within those buildings, each floor has a hall representative that attends weekly meetings and helps to make decisions.

“It’s a good way to get involved in leadership without a huge time commitment. A big thing is that it’s in your building. If students want to get involved, but are worried about time commitment, this is a great place to start,” Lehman said.

The housing staff hopes to provide a fun, welcoming environment for students that choose to join residence halls.

Karter Krasselt can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu


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