New Residence Life staff initiate housing reform

Virginia Wesleyan has been steadily evolving in recent years. Between our expanding campus, the recent change to university status, and our constantly expanding academic departments, Virginia Wesleyan is truly becoming a “premier coastal Virginia university for the liberal arts and sciences.” This evolution stretches to our Office of Residence Life, which is here to ensure proper housing conditions for all on-campus residents. Last semester, Residence Life implemented a new system for determining where students are placed in on-campus housing.This new system brought improvements and established a proper method for determining housing.

The first, and greatest, change was the creation of a housing portal, which can be accessed by students during the housing application period. This new portal allowed for a more convenient and economical method of completing housing applications. In the past, Residence Life would send out different applications to students via their student emails. The housing portal puts all of these applications into one location and makes it so students do not have to apply for housing more than once. With this new system, students need only to apply and select what type of housing they wish to have. The best part is that students can also select multiple types of housing and rank them.

This new portal also has a system for choosing roommates. You may request certain people if you so choose, or you can fill out the roommate profile that will provide you with a list of people who may be good choices based on your personality characteristics and habits. Previously, the only way to request a roommate was to speak with Residence Life directly. In terms of a housing profile, they had a Facebook link that people could try, but this system was disorganized and ineffective. Overall, this new portal was probably the best change made to the housing system.

The other big change was the implementation of a system through which priority could be given to certain students. This system mainly solidified the method of assigning housing based on GPA and class (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior). Those with disabilities and honors status still kept their priority in the new housing system. Though assigning housing based upon GPA and class was a rule in the past, people still found ways around the housing system and managed to get higher-class housing. This was a huge blow to the upperclassmen who had worked hard to earn their housing.

The types of housing assigned to those with higher GPA and class include single rooms, suites, townhouses, and apartments. I believe this is fair because these types of housing come with better accommodations and should be earned. I realize that having a simple double room is not ideal place to live in some people’s minds, but there needed to be reform in the system.

These new systems, though few in number and disliked by many, have brought much needed reform to how we can handle our housing. This new system is not perfect and still has its glitches, but we all know that this is a major improvement compared to where we were.

Jonathan Joyner