Streamlining Room Selection For The University Of Chicago

Before the University of Chicago implemented the Room Selection solution their entire room allocation was a highly manual, in-person process.
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Key Highlights

Efficiency

Streamlining processes and reduction in human resources.

Improved Experience

All residents gaining enhanced experiences.

Real-time

Resident information available.

Bespoke

Highly customizable resident journeys.

The University of Chicago
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The University of Chicago (UChicago) was founded in 1890 is an urban research university leading the way in new and innovative ways of thinking. UChicago houses over 4,500 undergraduate students on campus each year. They have 7 residence halls which are a mixture of turn of the century architecture as well as more recent new build properties. UChicago offer a mixture of singles and double rooms as well as apartments.

Before UChicago implemented the Room Selection module their entire room allocation was a highly manual, in-person process. Students were required to register in-person within their residence halls, roommate groups would also require all residents to register together in-person, and students studying abroad or on a leave of absence would have to provide a proxy to apply in-person on their behalf.
Before UChicago implemented the Room Selection module their entire room allocation was a highly manual, in-person process. Students were required to register in-person within their residence halls, roommate groups would also require all residents to register together in-person, and students studying abroad or on a leave of absence would have to provide a proxy to apply in-person on their behalf.

Manual room allocation

UChicago’s Housing & Residence Life team would traditionally create house charts for all rooms (including all room attributes) and these would then be collected back, reviewed by the assignments team, and data was manually entered into StarRez.  Their entire process was an incredible undertaking that would take their teams many weeks leading up and afterward room selection to get all the data correctly entered into StarRez.

“It was a very people and paper intensive process before we implemented the Room Selection solution”

Gregory Whitmore - Senior Associate Director of Occupancy & Administration – UChicago

Switching from manual to online

UChicago wanted to streamline their room selection process, reducing the amount of human resources needed to run room selection, as well as their paper processes to create more efficiency.  Moving from an in- person to online process was always a goal for UChicago that they had originally intended to implement Room Selection for the academic year of 21/22, however the pandemic meant that they had to implement much sooner as most of their students were off campus and wouldn’t be able to follow their previous i- person room selection process.

“Being able to share real-time information with students was invaluable, confirmation of their housing assignment was able to be done in a much more tangible way.“

Greg Whitmore - Senior Associate Director of Occupancy & Administration – UChicago

Implementing Room Selection

UChicago pretty much had two shots at implementing Room Selection. In the 2019/20 academic year the team had to implement the process in response to the global pandemic.  Whilst UChicago’s team were able to lay out their previous processes and review a project roadmap, due to timing and the move being more a reactive step in response to COVID-19, this meant that the first time around was a little rough and the teams faced some hiccups, however this presented some great opportunities for improvements to be made for the following years allocation process.  The team even redesigned some elements of the process and were able to add some customization.  

“Room Selection is now running so smoothly that the team are able to work on other projects during the room selection time period, something that just wasn’t an option previously”

Greg Whitmore - Senior Associate Director of Occupancy & Administration – UChicago

Benefits of Room Selection

Moving from an in-person to online process has saved UChicago an estimated 50 hours’ worth of work leading up to, during and immediately after their room selection process.  

“Our in-person process was also paper-heavy; moving the process online has allowed us to save at least 150 lbs. of paper and countless paper cuts – ouch!”

Gregory Whitmore - Senior Associate Director of Occupancy & Administration – UChicago

The overall student experience has been the largest benefit for UChicago since implementing the Room Selection module. All residents have the same experience ranging from the communications that are sent out to the formation of roommate groups and getting their assignment confirmations.  UChicago have also been able to eliminate the manual process for their staff, freeing up time for them to focus on other projects and be more time efficient. It has also eliminated the element of human error that teams typically always must account for.

“The Room Selection module helped us provide equality for students who were not on campus, being able to remove the in-person proxy requirement”

Gregory Whitmore - Senior Associate Director of Occupancy & Administration – UChicago

Room Selection as a solution for manual room allocation

The Room Selection solution allows you to achieve a level of customization that fits with your organizations specific processes. Our community each have their own unique processes and this solution has flexibility and customization to fit your organizational goals. If you are interested to learn more about the Room Selection tool please do reach out to your StarRez Account Manager to learn more.

“The Room Selection solution allows you to achieve your internal objectives without losing the individual identity of your institution’s process”

Gregory Whitmore - Senior Associate Director of Occupancy & Administration – UChicago

The Room Selection solution empowers residents to choose their own room, just like you would if you were booking a holiday or vacation stay. This is a great solution to what is often a very manual process for housing staff.

Contact us to learn more.