The Daily Northwestern

Changes give seniors first dibs on all rooms

Elizabeth Campbell

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Changes to the undergraduate housing process this year make receiving a high priority number even more valuable than in the past.

Seniors now will be at the front of the housing assignment line regardless of room type — a change officials say will make the process an actual priority system.

“We are truly trying to set it up so seniors have priority, and then juniors and so on,” said Mark D’Arienzo, associate director of university housing.

The undergraduate housing assignment process is scheduled to begin Monday as students receive their priority numbers via e-mail. Room selections will take place at Parkes Hall Room 122 on April 18-20, and April 25-27.

Room assignment times will be determined solely by numerical order, meaning students with the highest priority numbers will choose first. For the past three years, students seeking singles would make selections at a separate time than those seeking doubles and other room types. This meant that sometimes students with lower priority numbers were getting their room assignments before those with the highest numbers, depending on what room types were assigned first.

“We are going to try and set it up so that number one gets the first assignment,” D’Arienzo said.

It didn’t make sense for seniors to have to come back on multiple nights, D’Arienzo said, because the type of room they wanted didn’t work out.

Students will be able to finalize their housing for next year on or around May 13, according to the University Housing Web site.

The change will make the system more efficient. Instead of seven or eight days of room selections, there will be six, he said.

Weinberg junior Michelle Ha said that for those seniors who remain on-campus, the priority system works well.

“(The priority-based system) makes the housing process one less thing to worry about if you are staying on campus,” Ha said.

McCormick sophomore Wenny Ng agrees that the new process will save time.

“I think that it’s a better system because then you won’t have to go back twice if you wanted a (certain type of room),” Ng said. “You do have higher standing so you should have the priority to get it out of the way.”

D’Arienzo said students trust the priority system more than the lottery-based one used four years ago.

“The priority-based system has increased overall satisfaction with the process,” D’Arienzo said.

Students had to apply for priority numbers from March 16 to April 1. After students receive their numbers Monday, times to choose their rooms will be posted on the undergraduate housing Web site.

Reach Elizabeth Campbell at e-campbell@northwestern.edu.

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