Housing information packets and contracts were slipped under undergraduates’ doors with three weeks until the lotteries. By then, most students had already decided their housing preferences for next year. While the new packets are to be commended, Residential Life continues to underutilize what is potentially its most helpful resource its Web site. Currently the Web site is painfully out-of-date, and it could provide the same information year-round when students actually make most of their housing decisions that packets, open houses and information sessions provide when they arrive belatedly in March.
The new green leaflets (available online) provide students with relevant, honest information about room size, location and bathroom access. This year’s interest meeting saw successful attendance, as well. Unfortunately, both of these improvements arrived far too late to be truly helpful. Also, some information such as the relative size of doubles in each of the Residential Quad buildings, or how Hill Court suites differ would be even more beneficial with pictures of sample rooms rather than descriptions. An updated version of the leaflet should be shared online, with these improvements, posted under each of the location’s Web pages so it is easy to find, not merely as a downloadable attachment. The site is most counterintuitive in this regard; Hill Court is not even mentioned online.
These requests are not new. A full year ago, we pointed out that Res Life could optimize its Web site with building schematics, photographs of suites and rooms and information about the likelihood of getting into locations based on housing credits. These additions may not be a priority for Res Life, but withholding details like floor plans until lottery night compounds the confusion and stress of housing. More information would prevent undergraduates from making rash or uninformed decisions.