Editorial: Aspiring to create five-star roomies

When living on campus, you have the choice of where you want to eat and the activities in which you’d like to participate, yet as an incoming freshman, you have very little freedom in choosing where you live and who you live with.

Being paired with a random roommate as you begin your college venture can be a tough situation to adjust to, and at any school problems can arise and roommate switches occur. The person you get matched with can make or break your experience.

That’s why it’s a relief to students that Rider is taking an initiative in helping with the roommate selection process through its new online program, StarRez, which will commence in the fall. To be able to successfully live with someone day in and day out, you need to have a harmonious match. While this program is a step in the right direction, the University is only allowing incoming freshmen to participate in the first year of the program and StarRez may be lacking crucial questions that could further refine the roommate selection process.

Rider’s Office of Residence Life believes that by using this program, students will be able to choose a longer-lasting roommate. The aim here is to reduce any issues regarding roommates who don’t get along. By having a better dorm experience, more students may stay on campus on the weekends — something Rider is always trying to achieve — and the matches made may even cause the number of transfers from Rider to decrease.

Through StarRez, the incoming freshmen of fall 2012 and all Rider residents seeking on-campus housing in fall 2013, can find their roommate match. You simply create an online profile that outlines the basics about you, similar to the old housing form, and answer a few questions about whether you’re a morning person or not and what kind of music you enjoy listening to. By creating this profile, it allows other incoming freshmen to view yours and vice versa, guiding you to your match.

Yet, those few questions that were asked on the original housing form don’t really inform someone about a potential roommate at all. In order to have a lasting dorm relationship with the person, you should know more than simply their music taste or whether or not they smoke. Perhaps adding more relevant rooming questions to the new program, such as activities they like to do, what major they are and pet peeves they may have, will improve the process that much more.

It seems obvious that freshmen will benefit especially from this program — considering they don’t know many people right off the bat, it can set them up with the right person from the start. StarRez is not available for all residents to use until the 2013-2014 academic year. For upperclassmen students enthusiastic about the program, they will have to hold off the excitement for the pilot run. The program should be kicked off with the participation of all students, so even new curious seniors in need could have a go at the program at least once. Though they may be campus veterans, it is never too late to better your experience at Rider, and they should be allowed the opportunity to do so.

Since it is a brand-new program, students hope StarRez will be an instant hit, hitching the best matches together and making sure dorm life for campus residents is that much greater, and will enhance the individual living experience at Rider.

 

This weekly editorial expresses the majority opinion of The Rider News. This week’s editorial was written by the Opinion Editor, Kristy Grinere.

 

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One Comment

  1. this is interesting…so is it still Rider picking the roommates ultimately or a kind of database where you can search for a roommie? I think two things in this article in particular – major and activites can be a great way to get a start with a new roommate. It would give new roommates something to get to know each other over and more interested in getting out and seeing the activities campus has to offer. I don’t remember if the form has this question, but whether you are playing sports on campus should be asked too because I have known several people with athlete roommates who didn’t get along because they usually have to wake up very early for practice or classes. The solution to this problem could be as simple as offering a Facebook group called something like Rider University: Find a Roommate where people could post something about themselves or about what they want in a roommate. 

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