Students worry about their future housing plans due to new roommate selection process

While Feb. 3 marked the opening for California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) students to start paying their reservation fee to select their campus housing for next year, some students are worried about the changes the CSUMB Housing Department made in the reservation days roommate selection process.

In previous years, CSUMB students were allowed to select up to six people in their roommate groups for their next academic year. This is because some housing layouts like the Promontory apartments and North Quad suites can fit up to six housemates. This year, the process changed, and students are only able to select up to three people in their roommate groups for next year, risking students in larger housing layouts to be rooming with people they do not know.

The Director of Student Housing and Residential Life at CSUMB, Jeff Cooper, said he and his team, “have been critically reviewing our housing selection process this year with a clear goal to make the process easier while also increasing student satisfaction. In this particular case, we knew that roommate groups were very important to our students, but we also knew that managing groups up to six people became a very cumbersome process because of the limited amount of rooms available for groups of six and the frequency of students not being able to reserve those rooms easily when they try with that many roommates.” Cooper also stated that his team, “decided to pilot a new approach with groups of three to see if it might allow the process to work more efficiently while also maintaining roommate group options. Students are still able to reserve rooms in a group of six if there is availability, but it just means that students need to manage it with two groups of three as they review options in the portal. If six spaces are not available, then students will not be slowed down in their reservation process because they can immediately review options for a group of three.”

Despite the housing departments expectations, the new rule has caused stress surrounding the reservation days process for many students, including CSUMB sophomore, Hailey Hill.

“I’m sure I’m not the only one who is frustrated by this,” said Hill. She added, “living with people you don’t know can be really stressful, especially if you’ve had to do it more than once.”

Hill also explained she thinks, “We haven’t heard much about it because it’s such a new policy, and I’m sure housing expected it to be met with some anger and confusion. If they gave a much more thorough explanation far in advance students wouldn’t be as frustrated with it.”

Hill knows there is “still a chance” that she can live with the six people she planned to live with, but said, “If one or a few of us gets displaced because of the new process it’s going to be really hard. It creates awkward situations because someone might get left out.”

CSUMB transfer student, Lauren Rafter, is hoping to keep all of her same roommates in their Promontory apartment next year, but said she is, “nervous because [she] wants to room with all my roommates again next year,” but fears she won’t be able to because of the roommate rule.

She also said she found out that housing will be, “reserving all of [her] floor for community based housing,” next year, and she is, “disappointed that [she and her roommates] won’t be able to be in the same apartment next year.”

Cooper said that he “thinks the new roommate selection process will make reservations easier for students; however, as with any pilot initiative, we know we may learn new insights after implementation.”

He said that he and his team “plan to continuously review the process as we make plans for next year. As always, feedback from our students is valuable in this assessment.”

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