SRU rolls out new roommate matching platform
March 5, 2019
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - There are plenty of concerns that creep into the minds of incoming college students long before they ever step foot on campus. But none is quite like the anticipation - read: anxiety - of meeting a randomly assigned roommate. Roommates want to know...Who exactly is this person? Will they like the things I like? Are they a morning person or night owl? Are they a little bit country or a little bit rock 'n' roll?
Slippery Rock University's Department of Housing and Residence Life is hoping a new software platform will help ease some of that uneasiness. Called MyCollegeRoomie, the platform will allow residential students to meet and select potential roommates before either arrives on campus .
MyCollegeRoomie, according to the company's website, is "the most powerful roommate matching software on planet earth. It is a web-based student social networking and roommate self-selection platform that provides both students and staff with powerful tools to streamline, simplify and improve the success rate of the roommate matching and assignments process."
The platform is used by numerous universities across the country as well as other institutions in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education, including Kutztown, East Stroudsburg and West Chester.
"We hear a lot of the same questions every year about roommate matching," said Dan Brown, SRU director of housing. "Of course, it's not from the people who know who they're rooming with, it's from the people who have no idea who they are rooming with or want to room with but do know they want to have a good experience. We took their concerns seriously and looked at what software was available and being successfully used at other colleges that might work for our needs.
"The goal is to give incoming and transfer students an opportunity to connect with each other and allow them to begin building a community prior to arrival, as well as having the option to select a roommate."
During the week of March 4, students with an SRU housing contract will receive an email prompting them to fill out a MyCollegeRoomie profile that will include 30 questions to determine academic, social and personal habits and preferences.
Profiles will be open until May 1. After May 1, students will still able to connect with other students online, but all roommate requests beyond that point will have to be made through the Department of Housing and Residence Life at 724.738.2082.
"The profile page that students are able to create through this system is akin to social media platforms such as Facebook," said Brown. "This software allows students to create a profile to introduce themselves to other incoming residential students. While students can connect as friends through commonalities or interests, they also have the option to select those who they feel would be a great match as a potential roommate."
Once students complete their online profiles, they will be shown the profiles of other students with whom they best match based on a percentage common interests culled from their answers to the survey.
"While you can sign a housing contract and pick a roommate now, for the students who are not so sure, this tool just gives them a couple of months to meet people and maybe make a connection with someone," Brown said.
Students are able to further enhance their MyCollegeRoomie profiles by including links to other social media outlets, posting photos and/or videos of themselves and listing activities and interests.
Brown said that SRU students who will be residing in any of the University's Living-Learning Communities will only be able to meet those within the same LLC.
Brown is hopeful that the implementation of the software will help students have a much more positive residential experience and decrease the amount of room switch requests.
"We're really hoping that implementing this software will help new students feel more connected to their roommates because they had a choice, and help them connect with others on their floor as they will be able to see who their neighbors are once assignments are made. This really should help everyone to have a more satisfactory first-year rooming experience."
At launch, the MyCollegeRoomie program is being reserved for incoming freshmen and transfer students only. "We'll start the rollout with the 2019 freshmen class as our base and will move forward with other classes from there. Limiting it to one class this year will allow us to gauge how well it works, how long it takes students to navigate their way through it and then adjust the process as needed for the following year.
"We are anticipating use of the software for all roommate and housing assignments for all class levels as we move forward," Brown said.
MEDIA CONTACT: Lesa Bressanelli | 724.738.2091 | firstname.lastname@example.org