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Saint Mary’s takes room picks online

| Thursday, April 10, 2014

With the click of a mouse, Saint Mary’s students can now choose their dorm room for the following year online, since the Office of Residence Life moved the room selection process online using the eRezLife software system for the first time this year.

Director of residence life and community standards and vice president of student affairs Janielle Tchakerian said the office decided to move the room selection process online for multiple reasons designed to improve the experience for students.

“We decided to move student assignments to an online process to allow for more transparency in the process [and] allow the students to self-select a roommate and a housing assignment in accordance to what is most important to them,” Tchakerian said.

“[The software] allows our students to be able to make changes to their applications themselves and [for] our students who are not currently physically on campus during their room selection time to have control over their process instead of asking a friend to proxy for them,” she said.

Tchakerian said the online process is similar to the old process of standing in line according to lottery number, but with the new system, students are given a specific time slot according to their lottery number to pick a room online.

“[eRezLife software] has run smoothly, however we have slowed it down to make sure that staff are able to respond to questions and provide individual counseling and advice with our first year students who may not be able to get the room type and/or building they really wanted,” Tchakerian said.

Junior Nina Vlahiotis said the new software is significantly more convenient for students.

“I didn’t have to wait in line, and my lottery number was sent to me via email,” Vlahiotis said. “I went online during my specific time and was able to view which rooms were taken.”

Vlahiotis said she understands issues with the new process if students don’t use it correctly, but she believes overall it has the potential to be convenient if used properly.

“You are able to look at all the rooms that available and have [a] backup in case you didn’t get the room you wanted,” Vlahiotis said.

Many desired rooms and buildings filled up quickly as the online software made the rooming selection process move much smoothly, which has created some difficulties for rising sophomores, Tchakerian said. She said this issue isn’t related to the new online process.

“We always reach a point with our rising sophomores where some options are completely filled and they need to choose a different option,” Tchakerian said. “This causes anxiety for those students as they need to choose an available room based on what is most important to them at that time.”

Vlahiotis said the software makes the room selection process easier and less stressful for students.

“[eRezLife] is easier to navigate online than running around a crowded room, scrambling to get the room you wanted,” she said.

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About Haleigh Ehmsen

A senior at Saint Mary's, Haleigh is majoring in Communication Studies and English Literature & Writing. She serves as the Saint Mary's editor and enjoys coffee, guacamole and good books.

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