The housing draft has changed for the fourth consecutive year.
Officials tried a lottery, a first-come first-served system and random scheduling in the past. Although there were pros and cons to each, they become irrelevant when the system is just going to be replaced anyway.
The new system moves the housing draft completely online, something some students have been asking for since 2015, according to Student Publications archives.
The new system is called StarRez. It’s accessible through the “Apply for New Housing” button on okcu.edu/residencelife.
Students can create an account but can’t sign up for new housing until March 14.
Except for being online now, the process for requesting a new room is basically the same. But, the process to retain a room changed.
Officials said last year they would make the transition online, but they also said retention wouldn’t be affected by the new system, according to Student Publications archives. Even though the system has moved online, the retention process has become more difficult.
In the past, students needed only half of their roommates to stay to retain their dorms. Now officials are asking that dorms be at full capacity. This is not only frustrating and inconvenient, but it simply doesn’t make sense.
Some students live in dorms where one person moved out at some point, leaving them with an empty room. Instead of matching someone to their room, housing officials are requiring those students to fill the empty room on their own before they ask to retain their dorm.
Michael Burns, director of housing, said this is to accommodate the highest number of people. Housing officials only had a 50 percent success rate in matching roommates willing to live together a full year, he said.
Asking up to three students to focus on finding one roommate without letting them retain their room otherwise doesn’t seem like it works to accommodate more people. Furthermore, if the housing department only has a 50 percent success rate in matching roommates, that’s something they should work on.
This is hopefully the last change the housing draft will undergo in the near future. Change isn’t bad, but a different system for four consecutive years is just poor planning.
Students will have to adjust to the online system this year, but, if it’s kept, it will potentially save a lot of time in the future.