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New online room selection process is missing pieces

By Matthew Romano, Columnist

During my entire student career at Hofstra, students have been dying for an online room selection process. Thank the heavens that this year, Hofstra has finally decided to fulfill their wishes.


Remember when we had to wait for our physical housing lottery number, and had to go to the Student Center for that long and obnoxious process, only to find out that most of the rooms you originally wanted were already chosen? Then you had to scramble around; trying to find a building that still the type of room you wanted. Well, now it's as easy as selecting classes.


Surprisingly, however, the new online system has been met with a mixed reaction from the student body. While students are quite pleased with the actual online process, they are unhappy with the inadequate amount of advertising ResLife did.


In their defense, Residential Programs posted instructional PowerPoints on their section of Hofstra's website titled "Room Selection 2011." The PowerPoints instructed the reader on how to participate in room selection and homesteading. This page also included information on eligibility requirements, paying your housing deposit, and completing the online housing application. Residential buildings also hosted tutorials on how to use the new online process. They also sent out emails about the steps needing to be taken.


The only complaint a student had about the actual online selection process was that the available room list would show certain rooms to different students, thus making it more difficult for students to select the same room or find rooms on the same floor. Otherwise, the actual process was effortless.


But what was missing from these web pages—and more importantly emails—were the assigned dates for room selections. Many students, including myself, missed their room selection dates. Once we paid our housing deposit and completed the online application, we awaited further instructions from ResLife about the dates for room selections, but never received them. Eventually, selection took place and we were completely unaware of it. I was confused as to why the selection process was so late this year until a friend told me that it had already happened.


When I went to ResLife and complained about the lack of communication, they told me that there was information all over Hofstra's website. But I again pressed that there was nothing about the actual dates for when we had to participate in the room selection, or at least not dates easy to find. Their only response was that it was on the website and that another chance to select rooms would be on April 14th and April 15th.


A sophomore source who wished to remain anonymous gave a quick reply to that. "I, and the rest of the student body, do not have time to fiddle around the website to find the dates for the general lottery. It should be directly sent to us via email. Period. Now I may not get the room I wanted."


ResLife has finally initiated the online process, so we should be at least grateful for that. Not to mention that the online process itself was generally incredibly simple and efficient. However, they should use this article as constructive criticism for the lack of communication between them and the student body. With that fixed, our housing lottery system will just be one more thing to add to Hofstra's distinctive residential life.

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