Allan Blattner, the director of Housing and Residential Education, said students can begin submitting their contracts on Oct. 26 and they have until Nov. 27 to decide if they want to participate in the first round of selection.
“We have held the housing selection process at different times of the year in our history, trying to find the right period of time that serves students best,” Blattner said. “It’s an ever-changing window of time largely driven by off-campus housing.”
Having the deadline early in the spring semester caused problems because students were getting ready for the new semester and not thinking about housing, Blattner said.
“If we wait too late then we miss our opportunity, and people are saying ‘I’ve already signed up at all of these other places,’” Blattner said.
Blattner said the University offers many resources to help students make choices on where to live, including the housing department’s website and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Community Involvement.
Aaron Bachenheimer, director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Community Involvement, said the community involvement focus of his job deals with off-campus services such as providing resources to students who are thinking about living off campus, are in transition or are already off campus.
“We try to educate students about the perception that it’s just cheaper to live off campus, which is not always the case,” he said. “One of the things we do in our office is help students walk through their budget and what it’s going to cost to stay on campus and what they think the costs are off campus and try to make sure they are including all of the things they need to think about when they’re deciding on housing.”
Bachenheimer said his department’s main goal is supporting students in making whatever decision is best for them.
“I don’t advise students to live off campus,” Bachenheimer said. “What we do is we try to help students think through all of the various factors that may be going into that decision so that the student can ultimately make the most informed decision possible for them and their particular situation.”
Stevie Coleman, a junior considering on-campus housing, said she doesn’t like the earlier deadline.
“A lot of people are up in the air about what they want to do next year, and I think that this early deadline is really impacting everybody because nobody was expecting it,” Coleman said. “I think it’s stupid.”
Blattner said off-campus housing options are moving deadlines earlier, putting pressure on students to sign up so the on-campus housing deadline had to be shifted earlier to stay in the game.
“I certainly think there are more properties available off-campus,” Blattner said. “There is a bigger range of properties available from the high-end to the more affordable range, all the way down to some places that may not have otherwise been in the student housing market but are now being looked at by students and are being marketed by apartment complex and landlords as available for students.”
Hannah Snow, a first-year living in Koury Residence Hall, said the early deadline is overwhelming.
“It is so early in the school year that I am not certain I have really made close enough friendships to know who I would actually live well with or not,” Snow said. “I have very little time to educate myself on the other on-campus living options while trying to find suitable suitemates.”
Anthony Doban, a first-year living in Craige Residence Hall, said the early housing deadline has made him choose off-campus living instead.
“I am trying to get some people together to get a house,” Doban said. “There are no regulations with off-campus housing.”