Residence students can now resort to the online "matchmaker" program, StarRez if they need a roommate.
StarRez is an online program that lets students select their roommates when applying for residence dorm rooms. Residence services started using the program in 2009.
In the past, incoming students were asked to fill out a form with questions regarding smoking, cleanliness and sleeping habits. Now with the StarRez program, new students answer 30 questions on topics ranging from drinking to politics. The program then matches students with others who have mutual interests.
Residence housing services manager TJ Fedyk compared the StarRez program to a dating service, helping students find roommates with compatible values.
"The students love the option to be able to select their own rooms and have the option to look for a roommate if they wish," said Fedyk.
Fedyk explained residence services employed the program due to the growing number of students living in residence, deciding it was in the best interest of the students to switch to a computer-based system.
"In 2003-04, residence services selected to go with a company called StarCom to offer these services," said Fedyk. "In 2009, StarCom had created a new version called StarRez which would give more access for students to use as well as administration."
The University of Toronto, York University and Mount Royal University all use StarRez. Simon Fraser University is planning on applying the program in the winter semester for third- and fourth-year students.
Fedyk said the system is used for student applications, payments, maintenance, judicial issues and room selection.
If a roommate is unhappy with the selection Fedyk warned that residence services does not allow room transfer requests until three weeks after the move-in.
"If after three weeks they feel that there are issues with their roommate, they will need to meet with their community advisor," said Fedyk. "The CA will meet with both roommates and discuss issues that have come up between the two of them. If they are unable to resolve the issues the roommate that made the complaint will meet with the residence life coordinator. The RLC will decide at that time if a room transfer will be approved."
Residence Students' Association president Matt Knox said allowing students to select their roommates reduces the frequency of disagreements.
"Yes, there are a few students who end up finding a life long friend inside of residence in their random roommate, but in my experience most of them end up being in constant conflict with each other," said Knox.
Having a roommate who shares values and interests would reduce conflict, Knox noted.
"Honestly I think that the dynamic of residence will not change much as residence is always a place of constant excitement and new experiences," said Knox.