Freshmen can now change rooms

by Erin Gerken & Sylvia Koss

Simpson College Residence Life is offering a new program for freshmen students this year, giving them the ability to switch roommates during a two-week period of time, no questions asked, at the recommendation of First Year Area Coordinator Preston Phelps.

“This type of flexibility was something he (Phelps) had seen successfully implemented at other institutions,” Director of Residence Life Luke Behaunek said. “It was well-regarded and students enjoyed it, so after some thought, we decided it would fit well in the first-year area this year.”

This option is available this year due to a lower rate of enrollment that left multiple rooms unoccupied.

“Available rooms for both our women and men is changing constantly due to room changes that have already taken place, but at the start there was roughly about half dozen for both gender,” Phelps said.

The room change option opened on Sept. 12, and will close on Sept. 23.

In order to switch rooms, freshmen needed to find a roommate and hold a meeting with Phelps to see what rooms were available. The signatures of both students that wish to make the switch and that of their former roommates are also needed, as well as that of their community adviser.

There are very mixed opinions about this option for freshmen. Some, like Jasmine Snell, believe that it might be too early in the year for these changes.

“It’s kind of hard though, because people don’t really all know their roommates for sure, so I think it’s kind of early,” Snell said.

With the option to rush Greek Life taking place in the next few weeks, rooming will change once again.

However, many believe that having these changes take place so early in the year could be beneficial in the future.

“I do believe that this opportunity to make a room switch has the great potential to prevent roommate conflicts in the future,” Phelps said.

Avoiding room conflicts is not the only reason this option is available this year, however.

“That aspect is only a piece of the puzzle,” Phelps said. “This gives ownership of each resident on his or her living space and who is part of that space.”

Some complications have arisen because of this opportunity. Those students who wish to change rooms are unaware of possible roommates, and therefore cannot make a switch.

Phelps held a social event complete with snacks and ice breakers on Tuesday, Sept. 20 in order to give first years the change to explore all of their options for new roommates.

Despite the complications, sophomore Sydney Tartar sees this as an opportunity to better students’ time at Simpson.

“This lets them (residents) move in with their best friend, which is cool, and I think it will enhance their first year experience,” Tartar said.