Sophomore Sentiments: Housing system causes headaches

The brand-new online housing portal was opened on MyRider for students on March 1, which left some upperclassmen worried about the new paperless process. As a first for Rider, instead of filling out a written application to bring to the Student Recreation Center (SRC) for room selection, students were informed that everything must be completed and selected online.
Since the new housing process started just in time for the scheduling of fall 2013 classes, I feel especially stressed. While waiting for the course roster to be posted and advising meetings to take place, I find it difficult to learn something completely brand new. My first housing experience at Rider was just last year, so I barely had time to get used to the old process before the new one started to take place.
Midterms are taking up a lot of my time as well. Along with every other student, I am busy studying and writing mid-semester papers. We do not want to have to worry about something that should be so easy.
I am extremely excited to have time to myself for the week of spring break, but it will be a bit stressful knowing that housing starts the day after break ends. It seems as if there is just not enough time to adjust to something so new.
In order to test the success of the new process, the fall 2012 freshman class was used as a guinea pig. Each new student was to apply online over the summer by filling out a survey of his or her likes and dislikes. Then, a residence hall, room and roommate were chosen for them.
The freshmen are now experts with the new form of housing; however, the upperclassmen are not so fortunate. In past years, students would wait in the SRC for long hours until his or her lottery number was called. Although it was a long and boring process, it was relatively easy and most people were used to it.
Although I am only a sophomore, I find this new process to be pretty confusing. I liked the fact that applications for premium housing were handed in well before housing selection, so students had time to make new arrangements if denied. This year, premium housing group formation starts just a few days before selection. I am worried that I may not get the premium housing that I apply for as a future junior.
The process seems rushed, and I can definitely see several of my fellow peers feeling frantic when selection begins. Despite this, I do feel much better knowing that Rider is doing its best to make the process as easy as possible. Several information sessions have been scheduled in academic and residence halls for the next few weeks. Resident advisors and staff members are doing their best to break down online housing step-by-step in order to ensure the best experience possible.
It is encouraging that Rider is improving and trying its best to make changes for the better. It may seem confusing to many of us now, but in the future, the housing process will be much easier and worry-free.
-Erin Wallace
Sophomore English major

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