Lehigh University had traditionally matched students by using a survey which is completed during the housing application process. Lehigh now joins nearly 50 other colleges and universities in using RoomSync to help empower students in making their own roommate decisions using Facebook.
RoomSync is an app on Facebook that leverages students’ wide use of Facebook in describing their likes and personalities. Often times, Facebook is the first place students go to evaluate their new roommates once they receive their assignments. In fact, researchers from the University of Maryland proved they can guess someone’s personality within 10 percent using the information posted on Facebook. And if the students are unhappy or apprehensive about school-matched assignments after researching them on Facebook, the housing department may see an increase in reassignment requests.
This administrative burden affects many universities that use random matching, manual matching and other matching methods that don’t provide the whole picture of a student’s personality. Lehigh University has found in RoomSync what the staff considers the best way for students to find a compatible roommate.
Associate Director of Residential Services at Lehigh University Christina Bell said, “Students are using social media to connect with each other on a daily basis. Many offices at Lehigh, including Admissions and Residential Services, use Facebook as a marketing tool to get students important information. RoomSync gives them an opportunity to connect through Facebook and find a potential roommate. ”
Lehigh students will be able to choose their own roommates based on many different criteria like lifestyle preferences, majors, housing preferences, hometown, high school, mutual Facebook friends and listed Facebook interests. This gives students the clearest picture of each other’s personalities and empowers them to choose who they want to live with based on the criteria most important to them.
Empowering roommates to self-match through RoomSync lessens the chance for immediate room change requests and roommate conflicts that require administrative mediation. Studies have shown that happier roommates also reduce the likelihood of dropping out of college.
“By collaborating with RoomSync to allow students to meet potential roommates and self-select each other during our housing process, we hope to see a decrease in our overall number of roommate conflicts throughout the year,” said Bell.