For undergraduates at Yale, the housing process is far from uniform across the 12 residential colleges.
Since spring 2014, nine colleges have implemented an online system called StarRez to allocate housing assignments, but each college dean uses the site differently. Students in the three remaining colleges — Calhoun, Trumbull and Davenport — are left using a mix of off-line or other online methods to sign up for on-campus housing. Despite the discrepancies between residential college procedures, students were largely satisfied with the housing process. Of 20 students interviewed, 18 said they found their college’s online or offline system to be helpful. But students said frustrations and minor inconveniences linger, ranging from poor timing to a lack of information about different suites.
Kugan Ishwar ’17 said he would prefer for the entire process to be online because it would streamline the housing lottery. He added that Branford, his residential college, was not helpful to him throughout the housing process.
Pierson student Bárbara Santiago ’17 said her college only used the new online system to allow students to form groups and to see a map of the available rooms.
“It would be much better if the online system could draw random numbers,” she said.
StarRez, which allows students to register, form suite groups and select their rooms online, is in its second year at Yale. But by opting to use the system in different ways, the residential colleges prevent Yale’s housing process from becoming uniform for all students.
The StarRez site for Berkeley College temporarily went offline this spring, prompting an April 1 email from Dean Mia Genoni, who extended several housing deadlines for juniors. Despite this glitch, Berkeley students were largely pleased with the housing process this year.
“I think [the process] was probably the easiest it could have been,” Josh Hochman ’18 said.
However, many students interviewed said they had been largely disengaged from the entire process, adding that their roommates had been responsible for the whole process. Both Alex Croxford ’18 and Ashton Megli ’18 said their roommates had to sign up for their rooms online because they were too busy during the week.
Some students said they do not think the housing process could be improved and that many of the issues that arise while choosing rooms are unavoidable.
“Everybody has their preferences, and they’re always going to clash,” Alex Reinking ’16 said.
Last year, approximately 87 percent of Yale’s 5,409 undergraduates lived on campus.
Clarification: April 23
A previous version of this stated that Kugan Ishwar ’17 said Branford, his residential college, was unhelpful to him throughout the housing process. Ishwar only felt that the housing portal, not his residential college, was unhelpful.