By: Jim Vogel – Staff Writer
The University of Dayton Housing and Residence Life will implement a new housing process this semester starting with rising sophomores as part of a plan to incorporate a comprehensive housing curriculum for all students living in university residences, Director of Housing Operations Jim Froehlich said.
The major change to the process involves how a unit or space is assigned to a group, Froehlich said. The traditional method involving the assignment of a random number based on conduct points will no longer be used Assistant Dean of Students Steven Herndon said the previous system based on conduct points was unfair to students who may have received infractions during their freshman year and changed their behavior after those isolated incidents of misconduct.
“We found conduct points were impacting students for two years. Even if they made changes to their behavior, they were still not able to gain any standing in the lottery,” Froehlich said.
This year, conduct points will play no role in the sophomore housing assignment process, Froehlich said.
Rising sophomores will indicate their direct roommate in addition to the other roommates they want in their group. This additional information on direct roommates is meant to alleviate any anxiety over getting a random roommate, Herndon said.
Additionally, rising sophomore will choose a set of ranked room types in which they want to live. For example, students can select to live in a six-person apartment with a kitchen as their first choice, a four-person apartment with a kitchen as a second choice, and a four-person suite as a third choice, Froehlich explained.
Students will not choose a particular room number or house address under this new system, but will instead be placed in the highest-ranked type of residence based on their preferences, Herndon said.
Rising junior and seniors will be assigned a random number, with no calculations based on conduct points and will use the lottery system from years past that will allow them to pick specific addresses or room numbers during the five-minute slot which their group is assigned, Froehlich said.
“The new system for housing assignment was a directive from the provost and was organized by a committee of faculty, staff and students,” Herndon said. “This year is a transition year and the whole system will not be in place.”
Beginning next spring, all students will participate in the non-lottery system. Students will earn engagement points by taking part in an outside the classroom curriculum sponsored by Housing and Residence Life meant to enforce their main priorities like alcohol education, sexual assault risk management, learning together in community, the Commitment2Community standards and other programs, Herndon said.
“The intent is to incentivize these Designed Learning Experiences so that students will take part in our curriculum and benefit in their housing assignment as a result,” Herndon said.
The curriculum is designed in a sequence that develops over the four years as students learn valuable lessons and gain added choices, freedoms, and benefits that come in some of the housing options for junior and senior year, Froehlich said.
Students will have the option to live in communities that stress certain skills and curriculums like servant leadership, substance-free living, or honors living spaces. Based on the types of engagement points they earn from events that correspond with the different curriculums, students will get priority in these communities, Herndon said.
“We want to reward students for learning. Many of the Designed Learning Experiences that are worth points to students have already existed on campus. This is a way to support students who chose to make good decision,” Smith said.
Freshman pre-physical therapy major Taylor Jones said she thinks it’s beneficial to eliminate the conduct points out of the lottery system.
“I think that it is good to get people educated about community living through the new housing process,” Jones said.
“Many times people are just in the wrong place at the wrong time when they are written up. It is also great to know that you will be placed with your direct roommate regardless of your housing assignment. This eliminates a lot of anxiety and worry about living with a random person.”
The special interest housing application process will still be in place for rising juniors and seniors. The applications require students to detail specific goals and purposes they will achieve through their special interest request and are required to give reports to Residence Life after being approved, Froehlich said.
Details of the new system will be posted on the UD Housing and Residence Life website. In addition, floor meetings for all current freshmen will begin Feb. 17 and building-wide meetings in each freshman dorm to explain the changes in detail will begin Feb. 24.
Applications will open for sophomores online from March 10 to 21 and assignments will be sent after, Froehlich said.