Ahead of the upcoming 2016 housing selection, the Office of Residential Living has launched a new housing selection portal called Hoya Housing.
The redesigned housing management system replaces Georgetown University Student Housing, the university’s housing portal for over a decade. Hoya Housing will provide students with a greater range of features and a more streamlined housing selection process, among other upgrades.
Under the new Hoya Housing portal, the number of room selection phases will be reduced from five to two. Students will select apartments, suites and townhouses in the first phase, and singles, doubles and triples in the second phase, according to Director for Residential Services Patrick Killillee.
In GUSH, students were assigned time intervals one minute apart for their initial housing selection process. A student’s number of housing points, which were distributed by school year with extra available to those who attended certain events, determined these time intervals.
With Hoya Housing, the one-minute intervals will be replaced by a 15-minute exclusive time period in which an undetermined number of groups — possibly 20 — will search for rooms before the next group of students has access.
“Every group will have this time when they’re the only 20 groups in that 15 minutes. But you’re up against everybody at the same time, there’s no time that’s all yours,” Killillee said. “If you don’t pick in that 15 minutes you won’t get locked out, but the longer you wait, the less options you have.”
Under the previous system, a group sponsor would be solely responsible for taking group members’ selection codes, but in Hoya Housing, every group member must individually add himself to the group.
Additionally, there will be a new roommate-finding feature through which groups of students may look for others who may help them fill a vacancy in their room. As part of this process, students will be expected to update their living preference questionnaire.
“If you’re in a group of three and want to find a fourth person, you can search around and find someone to be part of your group,” Killillee said. “Or, if you’re an individual and you want to find someone to live with you can find a roommate that way.”
Students living in apartments, suites and townhouses must select in advance which members of their group will live together in each room and who will take a single room.
According to Killillee, the change from GUSH to Hoya Housing occurred due to a university-wide initiative to eliminate “homegrown” systems made in house. A few years ago the Office of Residential Life redesigned the housing system and settled on a proposal by StarRez, a company providing housing software for other universities.
While many new features exist as part of Hoya Housing, Killillee noted how there are a few things that the system does not do that GUSH did do. Hoya Housing does not have a room specification feature like GUSH, so students will have to research the specifications of each room ahead of time.
The Office of Residential Living has held three information sessions about Hoya Housing since the beginning of February and received a record turnout of students. The Office of Residential Living is currently hosting office hours about the new system in case students have questions, and the new system has been well-received by students.
“We’ve had students go in and test the application as testing users and they have had positive things to say,” Assistant Director of Assignments Krista Haxton said. “I think they like that it seems a bit cleaner, it seems like a newer look, and so we’ve gotten good feedback there.”
Nicholas Ebert (SFS ’18) said the new feel of Hoya Housing works better than the old GUSH portal. Ebert noted that the twenty-minute intervals in which multiple groups compete would be better than the one-minute exclusive periods groups, as they would make the process more expedient.
“I think it’s good that they’re changing Housing-At-A-Glance because it always felt outdated when I was using it for things other than housing selection,” Ebert said. “The twenty-minute block works better than the one-minute intervals. I think the process will be more efficient.”
Aditya Pande (SFS ’18) said he admired the automation of the additional features, including the check-in and check-out process. Pande noted the modernized housing system could be more effective for the student body.
“I think it’s good. They’re bringing more features to where people are, on the internet,” Pande said. “It’s the way people communicate, and this is how our housing process should operate.”
The 2016 housing process will begin with phase one from March 23 to 30, consisting of selection for apartments, suites and townhouses.
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