Housing makes changes to room selection process timeline

Carnegie Mellon housing is planning some large changes to their current system: moving up the housing selection timeline, and launching a rebranding campaign to attract students to stay in on-campus housing.

Housing and Dining Services confirmed by email that online housing selection will be available on Feb. 15, and the deadline for general room selection will be noon on Feb. 26, with the specific dates for the various phases of room selection occurring throughout February and March.

Director of Marketing for Student Affairs Mandi Semple explained that “the thinking behind it was that students are already thinking about where to live in the next year when they get back from winter break,” continuing, “students will be completely done with housing selection by spring break.”

Semple spoke of how busy the second half of the spring semester can be for students, between exams and Carnival, saying, “from a student perspective, this is supposed to make life easier.”
Semple explained that Housing had benchmarked its calendar with those at other universities, some of which begin their housing selection as early as January. “We’re now more on par with other institutions,” she said.

As a result of this shift in the housing calendar, the selection for resident assistants (RAs) and community advisors (CAs) will also happen earlier.

Director of Upperclass and Greek Student Life Lucas Christain confirmed that applications for RAs and CAs will open Nov. 24, and that the CA selection process will conclude the week of Jan. 12. RA selection will conclude the week of Feb. 9.

Additionally, the selection process for “themed housing,” which was previously called special interest housing and includes Wellness Living in Henderson House, Global Living in Clyde House, and the Sustainability House in Margaret Morrison Apartments will be slated to begin Jan. 26. “This process starts a bit earlier to ensure that the students who apply for themed housing will still be able to participate in the general room selection process if they are not offered a space in the themed living community for which they apply,” Christain explained.

These overall changes are part of Housing Services’s overall effort to rebrand itself, which, as Semple explained, “is part of the university’s strategic plan.”

Addressing factors such as infrastructure, financial planning, and marketing to students, Housing Services is drafting and considering revisions to housing facilities, rate structures, websites, and social media.

“There will be some time before the end of the academic year [when] students can see and provide feedback on [these changes],” Semple said. “Ideas will be brought to students, focus groups, and the student dormitory council,” in a fashion similar to what Dining Services currently does.

Christain summarized the rebranding effort, saying “there is an intentional push to increase marketing and awareness of what housing has to offer our students.”