The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Lack of communication from Residence Life causes chaos during housing selection

3 min read

Confusion ensued after students did not receive their time slots to register for next year's housing. | umw.edu

By ISAIAH DURAN

Staff Writer

During the week of March 22, some students returning for the 2021-2022 academic year did not receive the time slots they were promised for housing registration.

UMW Residence Life and Housing emailed all on-campus students on Thursday, March 11 informing them of when to expect time slots to be sent to them via email. Per the email, select groups could begin selecting housing accommodations starting March 16 and ending on March 29. Those registering in groups were set to register from March 22 to March 29, but as the day drew near, many were left wondering when it was their turn to register. 

“I was told I was going to be given a time slot through email; we never got the email,” said Abigail Slaughter, a junior Spanish major. 

Slaughter and a group of two of her friends were waiting for more information to be able to select housing during the “Same Building Sign-Up Selection” time frame, which was supposed to occur on March 25.

“I woke up on Thursday, the day of registration, and I had received nothing…I called Residence Life twice and they said to wait for the email, I never got it so I emailed them twice,” said Slaughter.

Slaughter described how the uncertainty surrounding her registration for housing was more stressful than registering for classes.

“Classes are different, if you don’t get into a class you can negotiate with a professor. This is different. This is for a roof over your head, it is more important to me,” said Slaughter. 

The only way for her to resolve her situation was to go to the Residence Life office.

“I walked over to Residence Life, we are in the middle of a pandemic and I really do not want to deal with this. The person who was working there was super nice, and she said I would be receiving an email soon. I got the email and we were given a time slot for 3 o’clock that day,” explained Slaughter.

For Slaughter, the problems weren’t over yet.

“Right at 3 o’clock the housing portal crashed, so I could not sign in. I was on the phone with IT and they just moved me to the next day. We were able to sign up the next day, which was Friday,” said Slaughter.

After a couple of days of uncertainty, Slaughter and her roommate group were able to sign up and complete their housing registration. Residence Life closed registration for all students on Thursday, March 25 and that prevented other students from filling up the slots. 

Slaughter made a point to specify that even with the rough situation that presented itself during the sign-up, everyone at Residence Life was very helpful and kind. Her disappointment mainly surrounded the fact that there was a lack of communication and distribution of information.

That sentiment was shared by another student as well. 

“They took a while to respond back to emails…I didn’t receive an update on my housing until I emailed them about it three times,” said Marcy Juarez, a junior political science major.  

When asked how Residence Life could prevent future situations like these, Slaughter expressed the confusion that is felt by many surrounding the housing portal. 

“Even to this day; I am a junior and I have gone through this a couple of times, it is not helpful. 

The website is not user-friendly,” explained Slaughter. 

Slaughter suggested an overhaul of the portal to make it easier for students to access all the information they need for housing and the applications.

Juarez suggested quicker response times. 

“I wish they could answer emails quicker and not take longer than two days in responding,” said Juarez.

The Office of Residence Life did not respond to a request for comment by publication.

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