Residential Services to assign rooms in new housing selection process


Lauren Duquette/The Daily Northwestern

1838 Chicago, formerly known as the Public Affairs Residential College, is slated to reopen Fall Quarter after a year of renovations. The residential hall will debut alongside a new housing selection process.

Kelli Nguyen, Assistant Campus Editor

Beginning next academic year, incoming students will be assigned housing, rather than select their own rooms, as Residential Services ends the current priority number system.

Previously, students ranked buildings in their housing applications, received priority numbers and then selected a specific room in a residence hall. Under the new system, students will still rank their preferred residence halls but will not receive priority numbers. Roommate pairs will be placed together.

“It’s just a different method for placing students in rooms,” said Roger Becks, director of administrative services for Residential Services. “It’s not necessarily better; it’s just a different method, and it’s the same system. We’re just using a different capability with it.”

Returning students who have already selected their rooms will maintain their housing selections.

Becks said with the movement of communities on campus, such as Willard Residential College’s temporary relocation to 1835 Hinman, the new system will allow Residential Services to give students “successful places to live.”

Residential Housing Association president Ali Movassaghi, a SESP sophomore, said the new system will create a more cohesive campus.

“Not knowing where the students are going with the new random selection, they’re going to be more forced to build a more inclusive residence hall,” he said.

Becks said the change in the housing process has nothing to do with strengths or weaknesses with the self-selecting housing process.

“It’s not a matter of something working or not working,” Becks said. “It’s a matter of looking at the overall picture of housing and the Master Plan, and that’s truly what is the driver of this. It really doesn’t have anything to do with whether students were or were not using the system for room selection.”

The Housing Master Plan is the University’s effort to reshape its residence halls, including building new dorms and renovating existing ones.

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