Update 4/14/15: The original article included incorrect information that North Court would be demolished. North will not be demolished, but instead will be renovated. The article has been updated.

This year “StarRez” replaces the old lottery number system for student housing. All will use the system, but as of now, few understand it.

The university is undergoing many housing changes next year. North Court will be rennovated and therefore unavailable in the fall. Jeter Hall and Thomas Hall will be reopened in the fall and feature co-ed dormitories.

At the same time, the entire system of housing selection has been redone. In the past, a lottery number would be assigned to a student randomly by grade. The student with the highest lottery number in a group would choose the living situation for them and their roommates.

Now, instead of a lottery number, students will receive a time slot randomly assigned by grade, Carolyn Bigler, the assistant director of housing, said.

Bigler originally presented StarRez at a joint RC and WC government meeting in early February, Lauren Pepe, the chair of senate for the WCGA, said.

“Bigler ran through the program as if she was a student to demonstrate the different steps of registering,” Olivia Karahan, the incoming WCGA president, said. Bigler responded to questions and concerns produced by both governments to change some aspects of registration, Karahan said.

“I found the presentation very beneficial and after having someone show us how it works I think that this system is more efficient and has a lot of advantages to room registration,” Karahan said.

In addition, Bigler offered individual demos of StarRez for students on March 19 and March 20 within the Whitehurst Living Room. Yet some students still find the system hard to comprehend.

Sophomore student, Jackie Arnold, still does not understand the implementation of the StarRez system. “It sounds like a more complicated version of the lottery system,” Arnold said.

In an individual demo on March 19, Bigler explained the StarRez system’s difference within apartments and dorm room applications, which show its evolution from the lottery system.

For an apartment, a group of four requests each other as roommates and receives one time slot. Any of these four students can access the housing page during their time slot and place their roommates within the same apartment, Bigler said.

For a dorm, each person is assigned his or her own time slot. However, the best time slot advantage can still be utilized. Students can request each other as roommates in any number combination (double, triple, quad), but each student within a group must request everyone, in order to use the best available time slot, Bigler said.

The dorm system is different in order to achieve flexibility when it comes to room selection, especially if original rooms are not available or if any roommate changes their mind. During the selection, if a group of roommates wants to break up for any reason, each individual reverts back to their time slot, Bigler said.

Starting this year, doubles within a suite will also be available. Certain suites that have access to the hall directly—two separate rooms with one door to a bathroom and one door to the hall in each room—will be made available for doubles. “These doubles were made to make it easier for groups of friends. Now odd-numbered groups won’t have to break up,” Bigler said.

Other than the slight difference between dorm selection and apartment selection, the end result of the StarRez process is identical. The student with the best time slot (or just one member of an apartment) will log on to StarRez with their student ID and password.

Then each possible apartment or dormitory will be listed and when chosen, a list of rooms will be seen. These rooms will be described as single, double, triple or quad and the number of individuals allowed in each is shown.

Any housing that has already been claimed will no longer be available or seen on the list. A student will chose their housing and have a five-minute hold on the room to finish the housing form.

“StarRez is like buying a ticket at a concert, you pick the seat available and Ticketmaster will give you so much time, or it’ll go into the main pool,” Bigler said.

From there, the student choosing will click submit and be forwarded to a dining plan page. A student can always go back to the main page if they chose the wrong dorm or apartment at first click.

Apartment housing assignment selection will start on Monday, March 30, at the 11 a.m. time slot. The last time slot will be around 6 p.m. Bigler said. The dorm housing assignment selection will likely start the following Monday.

Contact reporter Holly Speck at holly.speck@richmond.edu

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