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In an effort to expand the transparency of the admission cycle and give prospective students greater access to information on residential life, the UR admission office has officially unveiled two unique Web applications.

RocRes, which went live on Friday, Nov. 18, features a 3-D dorm room, 360 degree panoramic views and interactive images of UR’s campus — all with a focus on providing an inside look at what it’s like to live on the River Campus.

“Several students wanted to know more about residential life even after they had a campus visit,” Satyajit Dattagupta, director of enrollment communications, said. “We’re trying to give students as much information as we can and make [the site] fun for students to explore residential options.”

Dattagupta spearheaded the creation of the site, which was done exclusively by in-house graphics designer James Arnold and flash developer Dainius Jasinevicius.

The site, which can be accessed from PCs, tablets and most mobile devices, will be especially helpful for international students who do not have the opportunity to visit campus prior to applying, Dattagupta added.

The process of creating the site’s high-quality graphics took nearly six months, as each building had to be drawn from scratch and then modeled in 3-D — an even more impressive feat given that UR did not hire any outside web developers, Dattagupta said.

“Both websites give social-media savvy students three things: increased online information, immediate response and transparency,” said Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Jonathan Burdick.

The other site, called MyROC, is an application checker, designed to give UR applicants a feel that there is greater transparency in the sometimes mysterious and esoteric aftermath of submitting an application, Dattagupta said, likening this period of limbo to a “black hole.”

“When students apply to a University, once you submit the application all you that know is that the application is at the office,” he said. “With this site, you know exactly where the application is during the process, and you know that the application is moving forward as opposed to not having any idea where it is.”

A pilot version of the site was launched in January of this year. Based on what Dattagupta said was highly positive feedback from surveys and word of mouth, access to the site was expanded to all applicants of UR’s class of 2016.

The site informs the applicant on five steps of the process — when the application has been received, the name and contact information of the first person viewing the application, the name and contact information of the second reader, when the application has passed on to the admission committee for review and when a decision has been made — though the decision itself is not available on the site.

Dattagupta said the site has had a “huge” number of hits, especially from students checking multiple times to see if the status of their submitted application has changed.

“I know it’s working because people are coming back,” he said.

And there is still more to come, including images of the Southside living area.

“We’re planning on modeling more 3-D rooms, and we’d like to put up more images,” Dattagupta said. “We absolutely want it to grow.”

Buletti is a member of the class of 2013.

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