Room Selection phases explained

Room selection has several possible options: room retention, room with a retainer (also known as “pull-in”), general room selection, RA/CA housing, special-interest housing, block housing, gender neutral housing, and open assignments.

The majority of students will participate in one of the three most common room selection choices: room retention, room with a retainer, and general room selection. However, a wide variety of housing options is available to all students. Room selection occurs during the next five weeks of classes, so all students returning next year should begin thinking about their housing plans for the 2012–13 school year.

Room retention
Room retention, the first phase, is for students planning to retain their current room for the next school year. The room retention phase begins today, Feb. 13, and ends March 9 at 5 p.m. Although there are some exceptions, room retention is available to most upper-class students not in special-interest housing, a first-year dormitory, or an RA/CA room. First-year students are not eligible to retain their rooms, regardless of their room location. Students considering room retention should remember that once they retain, they cannot change their housing assignment or cancel until the open cancellation period begins on April 6.

Room with a retainer
Any student retaining his or her room during the first phase is required to fill any remaining vacancies in the room, suite, or apartment with “pull-ins.” A student eligible to be “pulled in” to a room already designated to a retainer must be eligible to participate in room selection, and must not have already selected an assignment for the 2012–13 school year.

General room selection
General room selection is the final phase of room selection, during which eligible residents who haven’t participated in the preceding phases choose a room from the spaces remaining. Students planning to participate in general room selection must “elect to participate” in the general room selection before March 29 at 5 p.m. by signing a housing license agreement. They are then eligible to receive a random room selection number.

RA/CA housing
RA/CA housing is only available for those students holding an RA or CA position during the 2012–13 school year. These students will not be eligible to participate in room selection, and will instead be assigned a room through the application and selection process carried out by the Office of Student Development.

Special-interest housing
Special-interest housing allows groups of students to apply for group housing centered around a certain interest or theme. Special-interest housing groups should consider the ways in which they plan to positively impact the larger residential community, then complete the special-interest housing application process. Housing locations with special-interest housing options available for the 2012–13 academic year are Margaret Morrison Apartments, Resnik House (480 and 580 suites), Morewood Gardens (two spaces available), and Mudge House (A-100).

Block housing
The block housing phase of room selection allows groups of students to select a “block” of apartments near each other in one of the apartment-style dormitories (Fairfax, Webster, Shady Oak, or Shirley Apartments). Students electing to apply for block housing must identify a group representative who will be responsible attending the block housing selection, scheduled for Thursday, March 22, and Friday, March 23.

Gender-neutral housing
Gender-neutral housing is a program in the Oakland Community Apartments that permits upper class male and female residents to reside in the same room. Housing locations with gender-neutral housing available to students during the 2012–13 academic year include Fairfax, Webster, Shady Oak, Shirley, and Neville Apartments.

Open assignments
Due to fluctuating availability in room assignments, some students are given an open assignment. This means that while they are guaranteed a room for the 2012–13 academic year, they will not immediately know where that room will be located, or what style of room they will be assigned. After receiving an open assignment, students wait until they receive an offer of a room for the upcoming year. After receiving their offer, they can decline the offer and cancel their housing agreement within a three-day window without any penalty, even if the offer was made after the open cancellation period ends.

For more details about the room selection process, visit www.cmu.edu/housing/roomselection.