With some confusion, incoming class receives housing assignments early

Rachel Alexander

The incoming class of 2016 received their final housing assignments yesterday for the 2012-13 school year.

Whitman’s housing assignments are typically announced later in the summer, around the first week of August. However, the Residence Life and Housing Office discovered that preliminary housing assignments had been posted on my.whitman.edu, a new portal site for the college. Because this information was available, Director of Residence Life and Housing Nancy Tavelli said that her office decided to release final results earlier.

“Because so many people wanted to know and we were ready, we just did it,” she said.

The initial assignments posted online caused some confusion in the Class of 2016 Facebook group, where many students were comparing rooms and trying to find roommates. Tavelli clarified on the group’s page that final assignments would not be released until later. Ultimately, few students ended up with a different room assignment after final results were released.

Tavelli explained that the process of assigning housing takes several weeks. Members of the incoming class fill out a lifestyle survey and results are analyzed through a computer program, which matches people with compatible roommates and separates people by zip code.

“Some schools take longer because they do it all by hand,” she said.

Although most roommate pairings stay constant, last minute decisions to take a gap year or enroll in another college means there is always last-minute shuffling. This is why Residence Life typically waits until August to release final assignments.

“The longer we wait, the better [the results are],” she said.

First-year Callan Carow said that she was initially worried about her room assignment, because she’d been given a single in North Hall.

“I was looking forward to having a friend as soon as I arrived on campus,” she said in an email. “I guess I’ll just have to work a little harder now.”

Regardless of their assignments, most members of the incoming class are simply looking forward to the beginning of their college experience.

“I truly believe I will have a great time at Whitman, regardless of where I’m living,” said Carow.