Housing registration starts April 26 and that means one thing for many students: stress. Finding roommates, picking a housing option and tallying credits may drive many students up the wall, but students in Residence Life offer their advice to make housing registration go as smoothly as possible.
Roommate selection tips
Senior Jesse Aerni, Residence Life assistant for program development, said students need to take compatibility into consideration when choosing roommates. This goes for many areas of life: schedules, cleanliness, social lives and rules on sharing.
“Also, if you don’t know this person, just looking at the type of people they hang out with or associate themselves with [helps],” junior Mica Parke, who was Residence Life housing assistant in the fall and will be a Resident Advisor next academic year, said.
She said you could discern a lot about a person by observing who their friends are. Also, if you haven’t found a roommate yet, Parke recommends scouring the student public folders in the college email system because students sometimes post there when they need a roommate.
“You can find roommates anywhere — walking through halls, browsing the Facebook page ‘Do You Need A Roommate?,’ attending hall events, attending the monthly suburb events or by browsing the posters with campus floor plans posted outside of the Student Affairs Office in Melrose,” senior Lacey Dean, housing assistant, said in an email.
Location selection tips
Many students choose housing based on locations with the newest facilities, Parke said, so halls such as Elkinton and Terrell and suburbs such as the Hewlett Packard Park Apartments tend to be chosen first during housing registration.
But students should look beyond newness.
“I would say that if you want to get the feeling of life after college, get into the Legacies because you’re farther away from campus so you’re relying more on yourself,” Aerni said about the Legacy Apartments.
He said many students choose to live in the HPs because of the scenic view of Nicholson Library or the exciting view of athletic fields. Students who live facing the fields can watch games from the HP stairwells.
Location is a key factor for choosing housing. Aerni said many education-studying students live in Potter Hall to be near classes, and student athletes often live in Miller Hall because of its proximity to the Ted Wilson Gymnasium. He said students should also consider distance to the library.
Junior Hope Fredregill, Residence Life assistant for community relations, said students should not overlook the campus’s wellness halls, Potter and Frerichs. She said students living in wellness halls cannot come back to their halls intoxicated.
Parke said students need to ask a lot of questions when considering housing options.
“If you’re interested in living there, talk in depth to people who currently live there,” she said. “Talk to [your] RA. They know a lot about these kinds of things.”
She said many students forget to look at the negatives of various locations.
Aerni said Pioneer Hall has large rooms with high ceilings and is great for girls looking for a quad, but it is an older building.
“People tend to complain about bugs and birds flying into the window,” he said.
Students also overlook noise concerns. Parke said people living in the HPs forget to consider what level they are on and who is going to live above them. Also, Parke and Aerni both said to be wary of places near dumpsters.
“On sides of the building that face where garbage cans are, you can hear the trash being picked up at 6 a.m.,” Aerni said.
These buildings include Whitman, Elkinton, Terrell and Jane Failing halls.
Aerni said students living in Terrell and Mahaffey halls need to consider their vicinity to the softball field, since the team practices and plays music on game days.
Students can find blueprints of all the housing options online at //www.linfield.edu/reslife/housing/housing registration/housing-options.html. Click on the links to individual locations to see the floor plans.
The biggest housing change this year is probably the conversion of Dana Hall from a suburb apartment to a residence hall. Fredregill said many underclassmen students may overlook it because they don’t know about it this year.
Like Newby Hall, Dana has a kitchenette and its own bathrooms. Students living in these halls still need to be on a meal plan.
Dana will also house triples instead of doubles, with three people sharing two rooms.
Suites without bathrooms in Miller and Larsell halls are being converted into three doubles because students weren’t signing up for the suites, Parke said.
Many housing options, including Whitman, Pioneer and the College Avenue Apartments, have also been updated within the past two years. Updates include new paint, carpet and furniture, but not all locations got all of these updates.
Jane Failing Hall’s garden level and Miller Hall’s second floor will be opened up to male students, and Elkinton, Campbell and Miller third floors will be female student floors.
The number one tip from Residence Life students about housing? Don’t show up early.
“People think if they come early, there’s an advantage, but there’s not,” Fredregill said.
Students must bring their ID cards and cards with their total credits, which they received in their unit boxes, and Residence Life staff members will total the credits for the roommates.
Aerni said they don’t start registration until everyone’s inside. He said the only benefit to showing up early is getting a seat.
“After the first 100 people, there are no seats, and you sit on the floor,” he said.
Parke said students should come in with at least two backup plans, especially if they want to live in Elkinton, Terrell or the HPs.
“If your first housing choice is taken, it is much easier and more satisfying if you have a second choice ready,” Dean said in an email.
But Fredregill said students should not stress over housing registration even if they don’t get their first choice.
“People make it into this big, competitive thing, but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal,” she said. “Just stay calm; don’t get so worried about it.”
For more information about housing, including location descriptions, pictures, costs, etc., visit www.linfield.edu/reslife/housing/housing-registration.html
By Kelley Hungerford/Editor-in-chief
Kelley Hungerford can be reached at email@example.com.