Section: News

Residential Life updates apartment, suite selection process

Residential Life updates apartment, suite selection process

The New Apartments | COURTESY OF KENYON COMMUNICATIONS

This week, the Office of Residential Life (ResLife) announced via email that the housing selection process for Apartment and Suite Housing (ASH) will change for the 2024-25 academic year. Currently, the process for traditional and non-traditional assignments (suites and apartments versus dormitories) are combined, but under the new system they will be separated. These updates will only affect students interested in non-traditional residence hall placements, and will not affect pre-placements. Pre-placements include accommodation-based and substance-free housing, Community Advisor placements and specialty housing assignments, such as division or theme housing. 

ASH applies to residence spaces on campus such as the North Campus Apartments, the Taft Cottages, Caples Residence Hall and Bexley Hall suites and other non-traditional housing options. According to Director of Residential Life Leah Reuber, all spaces will be arranged by occupancy, and students will be able to enter the online application for housing and form a group of however many people they want to live with. Groups of students who meet the full occupancy criteria for a residence will be able to rank the spaces they are interested in. 

ResLife will then make assignments based on the “guided criteria,” a point system established via class standing. In the system, a second-semester senior is assigned six points, a first-semester senior five points and so on, down to a first-semester sophomore. If one group of four students has all first-semester seniors, and another group has three first-semester seniors and a second-semester junior, the former group will be given priority within the assignment process. 

In recent years, the housing assignment process has caused undue stress, according to Reuber. Under the previous system, if students registered with a certain number of members in their group, but all placements with that occupancy size filled up, the whole group would be assigned a lower occupancy space. Students would have only five minutes to scramble and decide on a new group of roommates, resulting in some people’s removal. “[It] can really hurt a lot of friendships, hurt feelings, people’s plans get completely decimated, and they weren’t aware of it,” Reuber said. “So hopefully, this gives people the ability to have open conversations, make plans ahead of time.” 

The new online housing application now allows groups 24 hours to accept their offer. “Any groups who are not awarded a housing assignment for their group occupancy will be notified so they have time to rearrange,” Reuber said. 

The ASH system will not change the process of applying for traditional residence halls such as dormitories. “That process will be the same, and it will happen after this ASH process happens,” Reuber said. “Any spaces that aren’t filled through [ASH] will be available in general selection.” 

Given that current seniors and incoming first-years will not participate in the room selection process, ResLife hopes that the changes to the process will not be overly disruptive to the student body. Only the current sophomore and junior classes will have to relearn the system. 

The change also intends to improve ResLife’s capacity to handle the influx of requests made during housing selection periods. “It gives our staff a little bit more time to process these things, [to] make sure that we have all of the available spaces in every opportunity they can be picked. That way, we’re filling everything, and people are able to have the most amount of options available to them,” Reuber said.

Reuber expressed optimism for the future of housing selection. “I want people to feel comfortable coming to [ResLife] and sharing ideas, sharing concerns, sharing thoughts. We are really putting a lot of effort into just making sure our processes are equitable. Our processes are fair, our processes are tenable and manageable. That means that we will adapt and change things and we always get student input on those things. As we have the flexibility to try stuff out, and if it doesn’t work, we can do something else.”

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