While most Montclair State University students are commuters, a whopping 75 percent, the university is still home to around 5,000 students. Every year, those students have the opportunity to select their housing through the Residential Management System (RMS).
However, this year, many students have expressed annoyance to their peers or taken to social media to complain about the selection process.
Many were unhappy with two aspects of housing.
For starters, some were unhappy with how their housing selection times were given to them.
Residence Life’s (Res Life) official website states, “Current residential students have the utmost priority, given they have completed all requirements above on time, to select housing. Current residential students will be assigned a date and time to select housing based on their total accumulated credits. This means that generally, seniors select first, then juniors, then sophomores and finally freshmen.”
However, there are known cases of students with fewer credits getting an earlier time than those with more.
Res Life should make it so the given times are completely fair and based on credits.
Not only should they take credits into account, but times should also be based on financials.
Most of the residence buildings don’t vary that drastically in price, but costs are currently ranging from $3,688 to $6,476. For some people, the difference means everything.
Some students who are in a tough financial situation live too far for commuting to be an option or they can’t afford a car. So, dorming is a must.
However, the price of certain dorms may not be doable for those individuals.
For example, a junior may want to live in Hawks Crossings because it only adds up to $10,316 a year if they don’t choose a meal plan. Even with the cheapest housing, the $7,376 a year for a triple in Blanton, Bohn, Freeman, Russ and Stone, still costs $11,676 with the cheapest meal plan, which is $4,300 a year.
Some students who were reliant on getting the cheaper option of Hawks Crossings were unable to secure a spot.
As much as it’s fair to go by credits, we should also have some sympathy for those who need access to cheaper housing options. If we can’t help them out by easing the selection process on them, then the school should offer more financial aid for their students who need it.
Another point brought up in a controversial post on the Instagram account @montclair.missedconnections was the fact that a lot of people with no roommates or just one were securing spots in the apartment buildings, leaving people with a full apartment ready to pull in unable to get those spots.
It might be worth considering giving priority selection to those who want apartments and have their complete set of roommates prior to selection.
Many students saw apartments that only had one or two people in them, but that would prevent a set group of four from moving in or abandoning some of the people in the set group.
We understand that someone just may be going in alone due to the fact that they want a kitchen and the other apartment amenities, but it messes up a lot of people’s housing plans and creates conflict, disappointment and possibly bad living situations.
There could be a way to separate the people with set living plans and those who are just going in as random.
But of course, everyone deserves a fair chance to live in the place they wish to and it’s not fair to tell someone they can’t live somewhere if they don’t have anyone to room with.
Res Life could make a system that would pair up any single roommates with others going in alone prior to selection to make it easier. This way, the same amount of people get a chance to live in the apartments without people going in alone creating a situation where every room available has one to three people already living in it.
Apartments should be taken by groups of four so it creates more room for the groups of four who want to live together and the people going in alone have roommates given to them and don’t create any uneven housing spaces.
As an institution that is responsible for students’ lives for nine or all 12 months in the year, the administration must keep working toward bettering students’ living situations because there’s always room for improvement.
Students’ happiness and well-being should always come first.