By GABRIELLE LAMONTAGNE
There’s no doubt that on-campus apartment-style housing is popular.
Senior Francesca Bragan said, “I know I love living in the apartments because of the independence it gives me.”
Bragan went on to add that she feels “like it’s an intermediary between the real world and college.”
The Call Dibs program, now in its second year, allows students to sign up in the fall for on-campus apartments in the Gables or Woodsides. In the past students have been forced to wait until spring semester. Assistant Director of the UNH Department of Housing Victoria Wilson suggests that this program was created to fill a need.
“(The Housing Department) rolled out the ‘Call Dibs’ system for the apartment selection process,” she said, “(because they) were aware that many students were…ready, even this early in the semester, to make a commitment to on-campus apartments for the next academic year…. (They) wanted to make sure our offerings were also available for students to choose as soon as they were ready.”
The sudden change in selection of apartment-style housing is a little intimidating to some.
Wilson added, “Any apartments not selected during Call Dibs this fall will be available along with all residence hall spaces during the online sign-up process which will still be around February.”
One housing group last year, headed by Amanda Gilmore, signed up for a Gables apartment through the Call Dibs program. Before spring semester one of the roommates had left UNH indefinitely, so during the regular sign-up time another student filled the empty slot. The group was then able to sign up when they were ready, keep their room slot and include a random roommate when the original dropped out.
On the other hand, Francesca Bragan’s group did not sign up through the Call Dibs program. She wishes they had. They had originally been looking for a smaller room size so they wouldn’t need to live with a fourth and outside person. By the time that they signed up in the spring, though, all the smaller style apartments were no longer available. Luckily their fourth turned out to be a mutual friend.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult for people who don’t know about the new Call Dibs process to get an on-campus apartment. On the other hand, it’s unlikely that students haven’t heard of the process, due to the variety of advertising throughout the past two years, including “table tents in the MUB, on Channel 5 as an advertisement banner on the top of the screen, and as a large advertisement on the side of campus buses,” according to Wilson.
“(The Housing Department) website also reflected the new Call Dibs information and (they held) five open houses throughout fall 2014 at Gables and Woodside,” she said.
Despite being a fan of the Call Dibs program, Bragan has some doubts. Namely that “(she doesn’t) know how many students know what they want to do for the next year only one month after moving in for this school year.”
The program has so far been a success and seems to be supported by students. This sign-up flexibility allows some students more relief from stress over the process and deadlines, whether they plan to sign up in the fall or spring.