A More Effective Way to Pick Roommates

Wouldn’t it be great if with a few clicks of a mouse, any St. Mary’s student could find the following on the College Web site:

FEMALE SOPHOMORE SEEKING PARTNER FOR NEXT SEMESTER, PREFERABLY QUIET, WITH A LOVE OF ALTERNATIVE/ROCK MUSIC.

No, I’m not talking about a St. Mary’s version of eHarmony.com. I’m talking about a blog for finding roommates for upcoming semesters.

Remember those little forms we all filled out before our first year, rating ourselves on a scale of 1-5 for a variety of qualities (extraversion, organization, study time preferences)? For some of us, those questionnaires delved into our souls and matched us with our quintessential dorm buddy, making our college lives just that much easier.

The rest of us weren’t so lucky. For whatever reason, we decided to room with other people, and if we were truly unlucky and all of our friends paired up neatly without us, then we ended up taking a gamble during our next room draw.

This gamble becomes especially unfortunate in the scramble for suites and townhouses. If one of your friends decides to study abroad or become an RA and your four-person group for that lovely North Crescent townhouse you were expecting loses a person, what do you do?

If you can only find an arrangement for two people, then how do you decide whom to exclude? With the recent addition of student-run blogs to the school Web site, I propose another type of blog or other College site that allows a person or group to locate other possible roommates. If the College wanted to get involved, it could include a survey of some sort like the one given out to first-years, providing results indicating top matches for individuals without a roommate.

For those who don’t trust the usual survey, the Web site could also include discussion groups that students could use to post information about themselves (year, number of credits, personality) as well as they type of housing requested. Groups of students could also post openings in groups looking for townhouses and suites.

The Web site would provide a way for students to meet others with similar living styles, because even on such a small campus, odds are that each student can find at least one other person that they can tolerate for the 15 weeks in a semester. Heck, some friendships might even be formed.

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