Housing Glitch: Students attempting to find their dream room confused, upset by StarRez snafu

By Lauren Santye

The housing selection process was open to students on March 12, but because of a flaw in the system, things went haywire.

According to Cindy Threatt, associate dean for residential programs, premium housing selection opened at 8 a.m. on March 12, and students could go into the portal, hosted by StarRez, during their assigned times.

Some, however were able to get into the system before they were supposed to.

“Students called us and alerted us that students who had later time slots were getting in early,” Threatt said. “We looked into it immediately and suspended the site.”

The portal was suspended for 12 days, and didn’t resume until March 24 at 8:30 a.m. Students looking for single rooms can pick on March 26, and standard rooms will be available March 31 – April 2.

According to Roberta Butler, the director of housing operations, the confusion was because of a small glitch.

“StartRez controls a flag, and it wasn’t enabled,” she said. “That flag notifies students of their allotted slots.”

They were able to work with StarRez and it immediately enabled the flag, Butler said.

Because of the confusion with the portal, some students were distressed about what would happen to their rooms.

“The ResLife screw-up impacted me greatly,” said Tiffany Hill, a freshman radio/TV major. “Being one of the few freshmen that actually managed to get a lottery number for premium housing, it was extremely nerve-racking to spend all of spring break worrying about when and/or if I was going to be able to get a room next year.”

Threatt said some students were understanding of the mix-up and confusion.

“We ran reports and were able to identify who picked before their allotted time,” Threatt said. “We canceled any reservations made prior to the allotted time slot, and personally called all of the students (group leaders and students), and everyone was really great about it. We were very transparent on what was going on.”

Although the times changed the second time the portal was open, they made sure that the students were in line with their same priority, said Threatt.
StarRez is a telecommunications management and residential living communities system in higher education. This year Rider worked with the company to make some small changes to the site, by adding floor plans to the rooms.

“Last year, based off student feedback, they wanted the ability to see the floor plan,” Butler said. “Only one or two buildings don’t have floor plans, as well as Westminster.”

There have been changes and updates to the process of choosing housing, but some students were still disappointed with the results.

“I had a group of four seniors expecting that we would have a good chance of getting the room we wanted, but by the time we picked there were no apartments available,” said Jake Tuff, junior radio/TV major.

The Bart Luedeke Center information desk was flooded with questions from students.

“There was a significant amount of students asking to speak with the office of Residence Life during my morning shift on March 12,” said Alicia Quayson, senior psychology and Spanish major.

“It was much busier than a regular business day with lots of concerned and distressed students making inquiries about housing on the university switchboard and in-person,” she said.

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