The University’s Office of Housing Services has made major changes to the room selection process for the 2017-2018 academic year. These changes will include a shift from paper lottery cards and an in-person selection window to an online portal and assigned selection times. This change is the result of student feedback and frustration in the former lottery process of room selection. The goal of the new system is to give students more power in the room selection process, and students will instead be assigned a specific 30-minute time slot in which seven female students and seven male students can select their desired living arrangements.
In the weeks after Spring Break, each class year will be given a week to complete the room draw process, beginning with the rising seniors and concluding with the rising sophomore class. On the first day of the assigned week, the first time slot goes live at 8 a.m., the second at 8:30 a.m., and so on in 30-minute increments throughout the day. Once specific rooms are selected, students will have a five-minute window to reserve their beds and complete the process. Similar to the previous lottery system, the new system will allow students with the earliest time slot to reserve rooms for up to three others.
The online system can be accessed through the myHOME portal located in the Housing & Residential Life tab of myBucknell. When first accessing the site, students will be asked to create a profile and answer a few questions about their desired living arrangements and roommate preferences. It will then ask students to enter a description about themselves, as well as make any roommate requests. Students will be able to search for roommates by profile, name, age, class year, and so on.
Students are encouraged to explore the myHOME site in the weeks leading up to room selection in order to create their profile, select their roommates and view room availabilities.
“One of the most important things students can do leading up to room selection is to communicate clearly with their friends about their desired living arrangements and mutually agree on a roommate situation,” Director of Housing Services Stephen Apanel said.
If students are unhappy with their placement or did not get a housing assignment at all, they will also have the opportunity to submit an upgrade request. As in previous years—due to the fact that a number of students will withdraw, study abroad, or transfer—the University cannot ensure a housing placement for all rising sophomores and juniors by the end of the academic year. The new online room selection process will, however, make it easier for those students not yet placed to secure a room over the summer, and it will allow those students to place themselves on a waitlist where they can re-access the myHOME site from July 15–31. Students will also be able to “shop and swap” with other students from Aug. 1–11, which will be especially helpful for those who are interested in switching between rooms and/or roommates.
“Only 50 percent of students get their first pick when going through room selection, so if I could highlight anything, it would be to plan ahead and to have options to fall back on if you don’t get your first, second, or even third choice,” Apanel said.
Students will receive their assigned time slots after spring break via email, and students are strongly encouraged to attend one of the six scheduled information sessions to learn more about the new online selection process.