Trendy posters reminiscent of Apple’s marketing campaign are touting “iHousing,” a new system for students to select their dorms. Unlike constant updates to the iPod music player, however, this latest change in a string of housing adjustments may generate confusion rather than excitement among current and future GW housing residents.
Ostensibly, the goal of this new system is to more efficiently assign residence hall rooms and reduce the number of students dissatisfied with their housing picks. While it is unknown whether the new system will be better than the current one, maintaining a consistent housing policy may be the best option for keeping residents happy.
The reality of GW housing is that there are not enough rooms to accommodate all students’ desires, and some residents inevitably do not get what they want. If the University limits major overhauls to the residence hall selection process, students will develop consistent expectations that allow them to comprehend the system and become more understanding of undesirable assignments.
With constant policy changes, students become confused and frustrated, expecting each year’s overhaul to bring a panacea for their housing problems, but they often find quite the opposite. Upset students working under a constantly changing system are less likely to continue living in University housing when they are able to move off campus.
Furthermore, GW Housing Programs is often not prepared to implement the very policies they create. If they expect this switch to go forward smoothly and to minimize confusion, housing officials must make every effort to properly handle iHousing, unlike the results from last year’s changes.
Barring a complete failure of the new system, GW Housing Programs should seek consistency in its policies, allowing time to learn from past mistakes rather than overhauling the system and ensuring that students know what to expect when picking a room from year to year.