What Happened? Understanding Room Assignments

Please note: most of the content on this page is applicable for room assignments made during the summer for the upcoming fall semester.

An explanation for students who don’t get their preferred room assignment.

With the annual summer release of room assignments, University Housing gets a number of phone calls from concerned students, family members, and sometimes even friends, who want to know: (a) why the student didn’t get their top-choice room assignment and (b) what can be done about it.

In an effort to answer some of these questions, we’ve created the following guide for students.

Why Didn’t I Get My Preferred Roommate?

Answer #1 – The requests of the two/three roommates were not compatible

Explanation: when two roommates do not have matching requests, it is possible that they will not be paired together.

Living Learning Community Preference
The most frequent item that does not match will be Living Learning Communities. Since LLCs are University Housing’s top assignment priority, students may be assigned to their LLC, even if it means failing to grant a requested roommate. How can you tell if this happened to your request? Check the list of LLC locations below. If either student is placed in these areas, it means that they had an LLC request that broke the roommate pairing.

Roommate Preference
At times, we see pairs of students who did not request each other, even though they think they did. In its most benign circumstance, this may happen if someone copied a UWM ID# wrong. However, every year we also see instances in which one roommate who backed out or failed to include the UWM ID#. You can tell if you and your roommate(s) requested each other by returning to your Contract Preference Page in MyHousing. If you see a “confirmed” note next to the UWM ID# of your roommate(s) it indicates that the numbers were properly entered by all parties. If you see “unconfirmed” than the numbers entered did not match up.

Returner Self-Assignment
If one of the two roommates participated in Returner Self-Assignment (where the 2018-19 Housing Residents picked their rooms for 2019-20), they may have ended up in a suite that didn’t have space for a new student to be assigned, or a space where a first-year student may not be eligible to live (Purin, Sandburg East).

Answer #2 – There weren’t any available spaces for two roommates at the time your number came up in the lottery

Explanation: this is a rare circumstance but happens every year as we reach the end of available spaces. Because students are assigned in an order determined by random lottery, we will reach a point where every double or triple room has one open spot, but not two. At this point, a roommate pairing will be broken. If this occurs, the assignment system will next try to assign two requested roommates relatively close to each other (often in the same suite, sometimes on the same floor or in the same building). However, because so many spaces are usually taken when we reach this point of assignments, it is not guaranteed.

Answer #3 – Your request roommate does not have a contract in the current assignment group

Explanation: this occurs for a number of reasons. Your roommate may have never completed a University Housing contract, they may have completed a University Housing contract, but AFTER the priority deadline of May 1, or they may have canceled a previously submitted contract. Any any of these cases, you would be assigned without them.

Why Didn’t I Get My Preferred Living Learning Community?

Answer #1 – The LLC Had Eligibility Requirements which the student didn’t meet

Explanation: most of our Living Learning Communities are reserved for students who are admitted to a particular school/college or have a particular major. The most confusing of these is Health Professions, which require students to be admitted to the College of Nursing or College of Health Sciences. Both of those are different than AOC-Nursing or AOC-Health Sciences.

Answer #2 – The LLC had reached capacity and was deemed “full” for the upcoming year

Explanation: a few of our LLCs had more demand than there were available beds. Engineering and Health Professions are in that situation, with Architecture and Art & Design also at capacity, but not over.

Why Didn’t I Get My Preferred Building/Room Type?

Answer #1 – The student had a different preference which pulled them away from their preferred room type

Explanation: Certain preferences take priorities over others as we go through our lottery process. In order to maximize satisfaction on these priorities, other preferences may not be considered.

Living Learning Community Preference
University Housing’s top priority is to assign a student to their preferred LLC. That means we would assign them to their LLC even if it meant not giving them the building or room type they requested.

Roommate Preference
University Housing’s second priority is to assign a student with their preferred roommate. That means we would assign them to their preferred roommate even if it meant not giving them the building or room type they requested.

Answer #2 – There was not enough of that building/room type at the time the student’s number came up in the lottery

Explanation: Like all housing markets, there’s a balance between supply and demand. For instance: we have far more requests for singles and triples than for doubles. Of all the room types, triples are the smallest offering we have: only 49 total rooms of that type. If we didn’t have your top preference available, we considered second or third options. If none of those were available in the same building, then the student was likely assigned to a different building.

How Can I Tell If I’m In An LLC

The most reliable way to determine is based off your room assignment. General locations of LLCs are listed in the table below (though some suites in the identified floors many not be LLC suites).

Cambridge Commons
Architecture 1 CC 477- CC 499
Film, Video, Animation & New Genres CC 6th Floor
Outdoor Recreation CC 277-CC 299
RiverView
Art & Design RVW 301-RVW 309
Early Childhood Teacher Education RVW 201- RVW 206
Transfer Community RVW 7th Floor
Sandburg East
Architecture 2 E 16th Floor
Honors 2 E 17th Floor
Sandburg North
Business Panthers N 15th-19th Floors
Health Professions N 5th-8th Floors
Honors 1 N 25th-26th Floors
Journalism Advertising & Media Studies N 15th Floor
Performing Arts N 21st-22nd Floors
Service & Leadership N 10th Floor
Social Welfare N 9th Floor
Sandburg South
Engineering House for CEAS Majors S 1st-4th Floors
Sandburg West
American Sign Language W 2nd Floor
Cultures & Communities W 6th Floor
Local 2 Global W 5th Floor
All Male Community W 13th-14th Floors
All Female Community W 15th-16th Floors

So, what can I do now?

First, take a look and explore your newly assigned space. Every building, in fact every home, students will have for the rest of their life will have pros and cons. Learning about your new building, and how to maximize your satisfaction are important steps. We’ve got layouts of most buildings and room types available on the University Housing website at www.uwm.edu/housing, or on our blog at www.uwmhousing.blogspot.com. If you’re coming for New Student Orientation (or TASO), we offer tours of most buildings and would be happy to show you those spaces. We also offer tours throughout the week. Call (414) 229-3158 or email uhmktg@uwm.edu to set up an individual tour with an Outreach Assistant.

Second, if you would like to change part of your assignment in regards to an LLC, visit www.LLC.uwm.edu and complete the LLC Add/Drop/Swap form. This would allow you to change your LLC preference, which may in turn change your assignment.

Third, if you have a non-LLC room assignment concern and would like to request a room change of your assignment, you can complete a Summer Room Change Process Request Form at https://uwm.edu/housing/students/room-assignments/assignment-change-request/. All requests must be submitted by a date early in the month of July. This is the form you use if you would like to re-request a roommate who you weren’t paired with, or if you’d like to move to a different building. University Housing cannot guarantee if your request will be granted, but historically, we’ve been able to accommodate more than 50% of requested changes.

Residents With Assignments Starting In January: University Housing does its best to accommodate the preferences you indicate when you sign your online contract, with room assignments made in a randomized order determined by lottery. (LLC requests are made by emailing UWMLLC@uwm.edu, which are then added to the resident preferences before the lottery is run). Due to a very limited supply of available spaces, it is very difficult to match most preferences. Roommate and LLC requests are the most difficult to match, followed by room type. All residents who submit their Spring-only Housing Contract by December 1 have an equal chance in the lottery. If you would like to explore a room change, please discuss it with your RA after you’ve moved in.