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Mace & Crown | April 22, 2018

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New Housing Program Shifts Focus

Incoming and First-Year Students at Forefront of Selection Process

Housing & Residence Life is rolling out a brand new program that on-campus students will use to obtain on-campus housing for the 2013-2014 academic year. The program begins Jan. 28 with new features allowing students to browse specific room layouts and view profiles of potential roommates.

The biggest change with the new program is determining which students are eligible for on-campus housing.  Housing switched to a first-come first-serve application process where first-year students have the priority. First-year students can begin applying on Jan. 28 through Feb. 22. Second-year students through seniors can apply starting Feb 24.

Sue Mykins, the assistant director of customer service for Housing & Residence Life said, “Incoming freshman will be guaranteed housing for next year. For the past three years we have been able to guarantee any on-campus student housing as well, but that is changing.”

Housing & Residence Life has 4,700 available beds for students. They reserve one-third of the beds for incoming freshmen in traditional freshman dorms such as Rogers and Whitehurst. The next group of people with priority will be the first-year students.

After the first-year students apply, the leftover beds are opened to the remaining on-campus students on a first come first serve basis.

“Once we know how many [rising] sophomores apply, the remaining spaces that we have open on campus we will accept applications for starting Feb. 24,” Mykins said.

The new application process can be closed once the limit is reached. Mykins urges students to be mindful of the deadlines. Once housing reaches their limit they will stop accepting applications.

“There will only be a wait list if there is space available,” Mykins said.

Once the applications are submitted, students will get a lottery number to aid in the room selection process. Seniors, juniors and sophomores will receive lower lottery numbers than the freshman who will receive higher numbers resulting in later selections.

With the new housing program, students can browse profiles of other students looking for roommates for the upcoming year. The profiles answer a minimum of seven roommate preferences questions, but students can edit their profiles to include more information.

Special interest housing is available for people with an organization who prefer to live with their organization. Such applications must be turned in by Jan. 31 regardless of academic year. Students who live in special interest housing are required to do community service type projects in return for the special circumstances. The special interest housing applications can be found on the housing website.

Off-campus students cannot apply for housing due to the high number of students seeking on-campus housing. Services are made available for students transferring to off-campus locations like The District or ODU Rent properties. Contact Missy Sernatinger at the Housing & Residence Life for help transitioning to off-campus locations.

The Office of Housing & Residence Life is available to answer any questions via phone, email, Facebook or walk-ins. The information can be found on their website,

By: Megan Jefferson