Residence Life explains housing process

January 28th, 2010

When buying or renting a living space, people take into account many different factors. These factors could include the layout of the space, their neighbors and location. 

The same could be said of students choosing their living spaces for next year. JCU students will begin this process very soon, according to Marie Perri, housing coordinator in the Office of Residence Life. 

Resident assistants have received intention cards from students already in preparation for the process. 

“The intention card, if you pick ‘live on [campus],’ is a trigger for us because we put that information in the system,” Perri said. “That allows you access to the online housing process.” 

On Jan. 29, students who chose to live on campus will receive access to the online process. Once in, they can fill out the housing application and accept the housing contract. However, once the contract has been accepted, it is binding. 

“You have to be sure you want to live on campus next year before you go ahead and accept the contract,” Perri said. 

Lottery numbers will be sent to students toward the end of March. After April 6, students will have the opportunity to actually choose their housing online. Seniority goes by the number of semesters spent on campus, not by credits or number of years spent in college. Those with five semesters or more will have the opportunity to choose during the first week, which will affect the availability of choices. 

“It’s supply and demand,” Perri said. “If a lot of rising sophomores are hoping to get singles, the supply of singles on campus just is not there. So the seniors and juniors get them and by the time it gets to sophomore selection, those opportunities are taken.” 

Perri has many ideas for rising sophomores regarding the process because this is their first time. 

First, picking your own roommate is very important if you plan to live in a double.

“It’s really the student’s job to secure [his or her] own roommate,” she said. 

If you are unable to secure one, the Office of Residence Life will have a folder available for displaced students to sign. Other students looking for roommates will look through the folder to find the best possible match based on your housing preferences. 

Also, Perri suggests that finding a roommate that is a good fit for you is better than finding a good dorm. 

“I wouldn’t be as concerned about the building as you should be about your roommate,” she said. “I think even if you’re in the building that you really wanted to be in, if you didn’t make a good roommate choice, it doesn’t help you.” 

She suggests having good conversations with potential roommates on their interests, especially if you’ve never lived with them before. While this may sound silly – a poor roommate choice could ruin your entire year.

Second, students picking specialty housing should not expect to get singles or super-singles. This is because those types of rooms are located only in certain dorms and the specialty housing preference trumps the room type preference. 

“If you say substance-free [on your preferences], you are going to substance-free,” Perri explained. “If you don’t have a roommate because you just picked single, you’re going to substance-free, but you’re not going to be able to pick a room.”

Third, all JCU students are required to live on campus for at least two years. The only way students can be released from this commitment is if they choose to commute from their main home address. 

Finally, rising sophomores should have a backup plan just in case their primary choice is taken by the time they can access the housing options. This is especially the case if rising sophomores want to live in a single room next year, but they are all taken by the time they can access the housing choices online.