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'Priority' housing app deadline Friday online

By John Lawson
On April 13, 2018

NEW ORLEANS (April 13, 2018) – With an April 13 priority housing reservation deadline looming, changes include waiver of the $150 deposit and a limitation to juniors and seniors only for rooms in Gentilly Gardens and the SUNO apartment complex, according to the Office of Residential Life.

The room reservation process for the 2018-2019 academic year will be the same as “selecting an airline seat,” according to La’Toya Lewis, residential life coordinator. One prerequisite for priority reservations is that you must be pre-registered for fall classes.

Unlike the previous year, this year’s housing selection process will be done online for the second time. Lewis said last year’s rooming process was in-person, similar to getting a driver’s license. Prior to last year, the selection process was online for the first time. Before that, a $150 deposit would be required to participate in the selection process and reserve a dorm room, which is no longer the case.

Lewis said changing the process and dropping the deposit requirement helped remove a barrier for students and improves school’s retention rate. She also said staff changes prompting the process reverting to off-line last year.

“The process behind the scenes is hectic, and there was not enough time [last year] to develop the process,” Lewis said.

While the online process has been done before, Lewis and the IT department are working on some changes in the “data validation phase.” During this phase, they make sure the online process operates smoothly and helps students move through the steps faster to avoid glitches.  

First steps of the room reservation process require students to register for classes online via myDU to ensure the only students reserving a room have made plans to actually return, Lewis said. It is also designed to help students navigate through the fiscal clearance process. Through the Bursar’s Office, the fiscal clearance process requires students to be registered for classes and have adequate financial aid arrangements before being able to move in and starting classes.

Lewis said students still can be given a housing assignment if they are not registered for classes; they just cannot go through the room reservation process scheduled for April. She said towards the end of May, students who did not go through the room reservation process will start being assigned to rooms that are available.

For the 2018-2019 academic year, according to Lewis, juniors and seniors, both male and female, can select only the Gentilly Gardens and SUNO apartments during the housing process. Lewis said last year, contractual agreements with SUNO were not yet finalized so they could not include the apartment complex as an option. Contracts are finalized for next year.

Sophomores, both males and females, may reserve housing in Williams Hall. Sophomore females can reserve a room in Hartzell Hall. As in previous years, limited housing is available for sophomore males in Straight Hall. All of Camphor Hall and most of Straight Hall are reserved for incoming freshmen.

By April 13, Lewis said students must have registered for classes and completed their housing contracts by this date to be eligible for participating in the room reservation process later on in the month. Commuter students can participate in the process as well.

Another change in the Office of Residential Life in the introduction of a new student leader position: community assistants. Similar to resident assistants, the community assistants will go through training throughout the academic year and assist the resident assistants with programming and duties. Beginning in the 2019-2020 academic year, Lewis said, students will be required to be community assistants before they can be resident assistants.

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