Biola fall semester new room change to start Sept. 27
Biola dorm residents looking to rework their roommate arrangements have been taking advantage of Room Change, a process run by Undergraduate Housing that began this week on Sept. 24.
Two main phases for students hoping to move
An information sheet sent in an email to students last week — and made available both online and in the housing office — explains the two main phases for Room Change. Both phases will run through Oct. 3.
“Pull-In,” which allows a student to move in with a friend whose room has an empty bed, started Sept. 24. “New Room” begins Sept. 27 and is for those who want to move but have not yet decided on a room, according to the information sheet.
An email was set to be sent in the begining of the week to students with empty beds in their rooms to let them know their options, according to Heidi Herchelroath, Biola’s housing manager.
“They still have a few days to pull someone in, and if they don’t ... they can participate in New Room, or somebody may be pursuing their room as part of new room,” she said.
Room change requires future and current roommate approval
Freshman communications major Camryn Powell, who had been living alone in her Stewart Hall dorm room since the start of this semester, received the email on Monday. A fellow Stewart resident was interested in moving into her room; they completed paperwork Monday morning and were approved by Tuesday, according to Powell.
“Not having a roommate turned out to be a blessing in disguise because now [my friend] was able to move out of her room and we could be roommates,” Powell said.
The room change application requires signatures of approval from both a student’s current and future roommates.
“[Having a roommate leave for a new room] does impact the roommates that are being left behind, because that’s considered an assignable space now,” Herchelroath said.
The room change application form sets clear expectations for the future roommates giving their signatures.
“This student has permission to move into your room if there is an unassigned bed available, unless the housing office believes it could be unhealthy for the students involved,” it reads. “Please be open and welcoming to students looking to move into your room.”
Why students change rooms
Herchelroath mentioned several reasons why students might want to do a room change in addition to situations like Powell’s, like preferring a certain building or wanting to move to a less expensive room — a triple instead of a double, for example.
“Everybody’s motivations are a little bit different and that’s why we have it be open room change where you don’t have to explain what’s going on,” she said.
Meleca Consultado, who has been the Alpha West resident director since July 2011, said in an email that room change is student-driven so that students are able to own the process.
“In my experience, the most common reason why students pursue a room change is when roommates experience differing expectations of room conditions or have extreme differences in living habits such as: early or late to bed differences [and] hot or cold room temperature differences, etc.” Consultado said in the email.
Empty rooms determined case by case
On Monday, pairs of students visited the housing office front desk hoping to leave their current rooms so they could live together. They were told that though they could request an empty room, they were not guaranteed to get one.
“Each request will be reviewed at the very end of Room Change and determined on a case by case basis,” reads the information sheet. These groups were told that they could come in on Sept. 27 to see a list of available beds, where they might find a triple room with two beds open.
Not all empty rooms are given to students because an extra room could be needed in various situations, according to Herchelroath.
“We obviously have a limited number of rooms and beds. So to open up a completely empty room to people who already have a room, we do that … carefully,” she said.
Room change not always encouraged
Expressing the theme of being good neighbors, Herchelroath said that room change should not be used as a way to escape from roommate problems, whether or not they end up moving.
“We really do value the process of working through things together, having honest conversations, and figuring out how we can get to the other side,” she said. “That’s more valuable than being immediately removed from the situation you’re not enjoying.”
Still, change is not frowned upon.
“You’ve tried out something for about a month, and now you’re welcome to try out something else for the year,” Herchelroath said. “We will have another one at the end of February, so that could be helpful as well.”