The housing draft, the process by which students pick their room assignments for next semester, will take place exclusively online this year.
StarRez, the new draft system, allows students to create an online account that contains their personal information and living preferences. From there, they can choose meal plans, roommates and specific rooms.
Since the website is new to OCU, every student wishing to live on campus next semester will need to create an account. From then on, students will log in each year and only alter the preferences they want to change.
“We know it’s an adjustment, but hopefully we will use StarRez from now on,” said Michael Burns, director of housing and residence life. “The process is the same, except it’s all online, so students can apply when they want instead of scheduling a time to come down in person.”
The housing draft operated under several different methods in past years. Until now, students had to sign up for a room in person at the housing office. In 2015, the draft operated on a first-come, first-served basis, so students camped out in front of the housing office all night, waiting for it to open. In 2016, students were given random appointments on the same day as the rest of their graduating class, but many people had class conflicts and were forced to send a proxy to choose their room.
This year’s draft will still take class year into consideration. Housing officials will send out an email March 14 with dates and times that StarRez will allow each class to begin choosing rooms, Burns said. Incoming seniors’ room options will open on the first day, followed by incoming juniors and sophomores.
There will be no seating chart, so students will choose from a series of dropdown menus: first, the building, then the number of people in their room, and then the specific room number.
Meghan Webb, theater for young audiences junior, said she has not yet figured out the new system.
“I just created an account and am confused about how to move in with someone else who wants to retain their room,” Webb said. “I like that you don’t have to go into the housing office, but I might have to if I can’t figure it out.”
Students may choose to retain their current room via StarRez. But they can only choose that option if their room is at full capacity. If three people live in a quad, they must find a fourth person to retain it so as to accommodate the most people, Burns said.
“Quads are the most popular, and when we tried to fill them last year, we only had a 50 percent success rate in matching people to their liking,” Burns said. “Of course, we’ll work with you if you need help, but we encourage students to try to find people to fill their rooms.”
If a student does not have a full room, StarRez will take their preferences into account and list their closest potential roommates based on the preferences they select.
“I live in a double by myself and was planning to renew it,” said Callie Michaud, design and production junior. “I didn’t know it had to be a full room. It’s annoying because I was already kicked out of my quad when all my roommates left.”
Students can create their StarRez account anytime via the housing application on the residence life website. The room retention option will close March 10.