Hines provides updates on Housing and Residence Life


Ephrem Tilahun

According to Hines, only 2130 students can secure housing for the fall 2022 semester, with the portal opening on March 28 at 9 a.m

Micah Sanders, Editor-In-Chief

Each year, returning students must reapply for campus housing, with only those students with a quick thumb and accurate memory securing a guaranteed spot. For students who are not able to secure housing, that is where the Office of Housing and Residence Life comes into play, with Director of Housing and Residence Life Rakesha Hines, Ph.D., at the helm.

According to Hines, only 2130 students can secure housing for the fall 2022 semester, with the portal opening on March 28 at 9 a.m. However, in order for students to be eligible to apply for housing, one must clear their balance, pre-register for fall classes, complete the FAFSA and pay the $250 non-refundable security deposit.

The Office of Housing and Residence Life changed the computer system that they are using to accept applications for students who desire housing. According to Hines, this change was necessary to accommodate the large number of students applying simultaneously for an extended amount of time.

“Due to the previous issues with servers, we do not use the university server. We use a server that is through the application portal ‘Adirondack,’” Hines said. “Now that we are using the off-campus server, we are able to handle the number of applications that are submitted during that busy time.”

As the university has several academic scholars on campus, those students who were awarded the presidential scholarship (full tuition, fees, books, housing, and meal plan) are given special priority during the housing application.

“We will be allowing the ‘presidential scholars’ to be able to apply for housing prior to the rest of the student body. They will receive more information from the Office of Housing and Residence Life regarding vital information,” she said. “The other academic excellence scholarship students will have to apply on March 28, 2022, when the application becomes open to the remaining students.”

Once on the Adirondack housing portal, students are met with the option to choose from the selected male and female residence halls on campus, with only Facility I being co-ed. After selecting a room, students are automatically given the “All-Access Meal Plan” with altering options presented at a later date by the Office of Housing and Residence Life.

“The All-Access Meal Plan has $150 Flex (monetary value given to students’ IDs to buy Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, Subway),” Hines said. “That is the plan that all students are provided with if they reside in on-campus housing.  If the student decides to get the All-Access Plan with the upgrade, that plan includes a $300 flex. Students will have to request this meal plan in the Office of Housing and Residence Life due to this meal plan being a payment increase.”

For those students who want to have more variety and independence in their room setup, the William McGinty Apartments located on the west side of campus will be available. However, due to the pandemic, there is limited availability, as two of those apartments will be used for potential COVID-19 isolation to ensure the protection of the Hornet’s Nest.

“We are still in the process of looking at our plan of action as it relates to COVID-19 processes,” Hines said. “Again, with COVID being ever-changing and it’s like something we have not seen before, we want to continue to be proactive in ensuring that we are continuing to keep our campus housing safe.”

Once the housing portal reaches maximum capacity, students are advised to go online and sign up for the waiting list. This will ensure that the Office of Housing and Residence Life provides the best possible service to their students, with Hines emphasizing that housing is on a first-come, first-serve basis. She also mentioned that they are only allowed to assign rooms to those on the waiting list if those rooms become available, restating that not everyone on the waiting list will be guaranteed a spot on campus.

While Hines knows that the spring semester is a time full of stress and uncertainty for some students to secure housing, she emphasizes that she and her team will provide the best customer service.

“We want to ensure that our students feel heard and that they can see the change within the department through constant communication,” she said. “We have strived to keep our students abreast of all housing information.”