News

Online program allows students to choose roommate

Students come to live on campus from all over the country, and it can be a nerve-wracking experience.

If worries about money, stereo equipment and refrigerators weren’t enough, there is, of course, the roommate: a person with whom to share the same 20 cubic feet of living space for an entire year (not to mention the bathroom).

Some institutions such as Kennesaw State University and University of Tennessee are trying to make things easier on students and themselves.

Using online systems like WebRoomz, students who are accepted into the school fill out a detailed survey and are matched with potentially compatible roommates.

“It makes sense,” Tara Shane, a sophomore film major, said, “because I know a lot of people who had really bad experiences with roommates their first semester.”

Control is given to students which could potentially save universities a great deal of time and money.

All rooms could be filled without having to do any paper work, and if students already know who their roommates are, it could potentially reduce the number of room changes and complaints.

Although the system appears beneficial on the surface, Dr. Robert Redick, Director of Residence Halls, explained that UM tried out a similar approach 15 years ago with little success.

“When I first heard about this system, I was very interested; however, upon closer examination, there is no proof that it works any better than random selection.,” said Redick. “How do you determine how many questions have to add up for there to be a match?

“No matter how compatible someone seems on paper, there are always variables,” he said.

Financial aspects can also be handled through WebRoomz. Students can pay their room and board online with a credit card as well as purchase meal plans and parking decals.

This raises the question of equity. Not all incoming students have access to the same resources.

“Not only would this program obligate freshmen to do more things and fill out more paperwork that UM can do for them, but it also assumes that all students have internet access, which they don’t,” Mike Johnston, Student Government President, said. “You have to think globally. There are 140 countries represented at UM, and not all people have access to, or can afford the Internet.”

College life is full of diversity and new experiences, and some believe that picking a roommate from a compatibility list would spoil that aspect.

“People don’t have to be alike to get along,” Redick said. “If this were truly a good system, people would fill out surveys to get married. Here at UM, people are free to change rooms, but it is a much more adult and humane way of dealing with problems.

“People are diverse and changing, which is the beauty of being human. By trying to match people on a 30 question form denies that.”

September 6, 2002

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Either the Miami Hurricanes get a collective adrenaline rush from heart-palpitating fourth quarters, ...

University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga, his face showing the strain of an ongoing ...

The No. 8 Hurricanes,  20 1/2-point favorites over next opponent North Carolina, are still one of on ...

Kudos to the two newest Atlantic Coast Conference Players of the Week: tight end Christopher Herndon ...

Mark Richt is not overly concerned with depth. Not when the eighth-ranked Miami Hurricanes (6-0, 4-0 ...

A University of Miami Ph.D. student in the Department of History sheds light on the dark history of ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

The Hurricanes may be young, but they have the talent and poise to make a deep run in March. ...

Miami tight end Christopher Herndon and linebacker Michael Pinckney were among those recognized with ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

The Miami women's tennis team wrapped up play Sunday the ITA Southeast Regional Championships P ...

The Hurricanes grabbed four interceptions and another ACC victory as they defeated Syracuse, 27-19, ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.