UConn Should Build a Better Housing Registration System

Housing registration for the next academic year just passed. Whenever housing pick time rolls around there is usually is quite a scramble as students rush to grab whatever desirable rooms are left. The procedure for picking housing is tightly controlled. Pick times, as almost every student knows, are determined by credit earned at the time of housing registration. There isn’t much wrong with this part of the process.

There also is some helpful assistance available. If a student cannot pick during their time they are able to designate a proxy, presumably a staff member from UConn’s Residential Life office, who will pick your choice of room for you during your pick time. This is very helpful for students who may happen to be in class or otherwise busy when their pick time starts. Especially in the first few days, housing goes very fast.

As everyone knows, housing registration occurs online and involves logging in with a NetID. Once inside, a student has access to the actual housing pick system. The system itself seems outdated and lacks some useful information. Three important pieces of information, the price, the building, and the room number, are given when selecting a room through the system. However, while the system is reliable and works, other important details are left out.

What would really be helpful is a clickable map of campus where each dorm could be clicked on to look for vacancies. Students should then be able to cycle through the floors to see which rooms are still open. This method is similar to booking an airplane seat online, the position of the seat inside the airplane is shown, and seats that are occupied are marked red, available seats are marked in green. Various seating sections of the plane can be searched from first class to economy.

There are many reasons why people may want to know the exact location of a certain room on a floor. Obviously, corner rooms are usually highly sought after and many students try to deduce what the room numbers of corner rooms are either through guesswork or by questioning former residents. Others wish to avoid rooms near the elevators or stairwells as these can be noisy areas even late at night. For a similar reason, rooms across the hall from the bathrooms are also sometimes avoided as people do not want to hear toilets flushing and stall doors slamming every hour of the day.

When it comes time to pick housing, the actual location of the room on the floor is just as important as the location of the dorm itself. It would be best if UConn modified their housing pick system so that the location of dorm rooms could be visualized.

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