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CSULB housing application process changes

If you’re thinking about applying for housing, you’d better hurry.

The fall 2007 housing application period for CSULB opened Jan. 29 for returning students and will close on Feb. 16, 2007.

Housing applications are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Last year about 6,000 students applied for housing, but only 1,922 residents were accepted. Fewer than half of the residents are returning students, according to Stan Olin, director of Housing & Residential Life.

“We have a slightly different schedule for returning students,” Olin said. “We want to give priority to returning students, but we need to know how many of them there are before we can proceed with incoming freshman students.”

The application can only be accessed online from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It isn’t open after midnight anymore, according to Olin.

“We’re going to start at 9 in the morning,” Olin said, “because that’s during the normal business day and we’ll have people here who can solve problems if there are any.”

An online-only application might seem problematic, because not everyone has Internet access at home. However, so far, students haven’t complained about it, said Olin. According to him, most students have a computer. Students who don’t have a computer can use one at a computer lab or library.

“If they can’t do any of those things,” Olin said, “they [can] simply call the Housing Office and we’ll do [the application] for them.”

Olin said that the application switched to an Internet-only service to make the process easier for rural community students.

“One of the fallacies with first-come, first-serve was [that] the guy who lives in a rural community with somewhat non-regular mail service…they’re feeling disadvantaged,” Olin said. “Once they could do it electronically, everyone’s pretty much on an even playing field.”

Christine Phu, associate director of Housing & Residential Life, said that the new online application also cuts the students’ waiting time.

“This really eliminates [the process] by three steps,” Phu said. “[Students] don’t have to request an application, they don’t have to complete an application manually and then they don’t have to send the applications back.”

Some freshman students didn’t know about the housing application last year. Christina Robin, a freshman, said that it took a long time for her to find out about the application deadline.

“It took even longer for my friends [to find out],” Robin said. “One of my friends found out a week or two before we came.”

The incoming freshman application must be submitted by March 16 at 5 p.m. It opened Feb. 1. According to Olin, the application has an early deadline so that incoming freshmen will know whether or not they are admitted into the residence halls.

“[Say] you’re now deciding, ‘I’ll go to Long Beach, but only if I can get in the residence halls,'” Olin said. “Well, we need to have that [application] processed pretty far along before we can answer questions for you…so we have to start pretty early.”

Of the 1,962 students in the residence halls, 40 are resident assistants. Therefore, only 1,922 applicants are admitted into the residence halls.

The online applications can be filled out at the housing page at csulb.edu/housing. Questions can be fielded to the Housing & Residential Life Office at (562) 985-4187 or via e-mail to housing@csub.edu. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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