Every spring, Yale students agonize over the housing process as they deal with confusing rules and fickle roommates. But now, Davenport College will make at least one part of the process a little easier.
Davenport’s housing registration is slated to go digital this spring after online surveys proved successful in providing the housing committee an early reading on housing demand. The online move follows the University’s introduction of online course selection and the elimination of the paper supplement.
Under the inchoate plan, students will be able to access an online schematic map detailing the dimensions and specification of each room as well as former tenants’ comments and photos. Groups of students would then register online for the housing draw.
Davenport Dean Peter Quimby said the process will “simplify the procedure,” although a parallel paper process will probably safeguard the draw from Murphy’s Law this year.
In an age in which screens have replaced faces, at least one aspect of the housing process will remain personal. The actual draw will be held in the dining hall, where congregating students will negotiate and vacillate over housing decisions amidst a cacophonic drum of voices.
“The room draw is an important community event — especially at Yale,” Quimby said.
As rooms are chosen and reserved, a projector will shade their locations on a map, allowing students to see which rooms have been taken.
Although the process is still in its planning stages, Quimby said that if it works there is no reason not to continue using it.
Raul Ruiz ’03, who created the online housing survey last year, said he e-mailed Quimby expressing interest in creating an online housing registration system. Ruiz said Quimby was immediately enthusiastic.
“It will make everyone’s life a lot easier,” Ruiz said.
A team of five student programmers is currently working with the housing committee to develop the web program. They are using C-Sharp, a new programming language.
Early responses from students living in Davenport were overwhelmingly positive.
“It sounds like it would be helpful,” Jon Bettin ’04 said.