Why so many items on the menu?
One might be tempted to think housing is simple and straightforward, like ordering a burger at an In 'N Out Burger drive-through restarant. It's not quite so simple because our housing "menu" and several nuances make it more complicated. There's a big difference between the relative ease of submitting a housing application as a new, incoming student (whereupon residence staff make the room and roommate assignments), and taking on the challenges yourself: recruiting one's own roommate, dealing with a large menu of housing options, limits, timelines, deadlines, standing in line during the housing selection event, etc.
We hope students will take time to read and appreciate our menu of options, and respect the nuances for housing. These options and nuances include (1) various types of housing, (2) student constituents, (3) location status, (4) timelines and deadlines, and (5) regulatory limits. Consider these questions:
- WHAT type of housing is it: off-campus commuter, the OV apartments, or on-campus?
- WHO is the student constituent: new, returning, away-abroad, or re-applicant?
- WHERE is the student's current housing location, and does it give special status for the request?
- WHEN should the request be made? Is a sign-up time, timeline or deadline asssociated with it?
- WHY is there a limit for students who want to reside off-campus locally and commute?
Our housing website is organized in consideration of our limits, options, and different constituent groups. First, our critical regulatory issue requires us to limit the number of off-campus commuters. See Off-Campus Commuting. Second, our website explains when various housing options are available for request. Third, our timelines and procedures differ according to the student constituent group: New, Returning, Away-Abroad, and Re-Applicant. As mentioned above, new students' rooms and roommates are assigned by residence life staff, whereas returning students generally select these on their own. Our away-abroad students are housed in a somewhat hybrid fashion to best meet their needs.
In the middle of the Spring semester, we have a sequential approach to reserve housing for the following academic year (and such housing reservations are predominantly for the following Fall semester). By spreading out the process over a number of weeks in March and April, our goal is for students to have adequate time to select their most preferred housing, and to not feel rushed or overly stressed as they consider the "menu" of options or when their most preferred housing has been reserved by others and is no longer available. See Housing Sign-Ups for Next Year for details.
Do I sign-up with Housing or my Resident Director?
Housing and Residence Life work collaboratively so the answer to this question is, "it depends." It depends on the type of housing request, and when the request is made. Returning to our fast-food analogy, consider the larger menu at McDonalds and imagine how a McDonald's employee might respond to a question such as, "may I have a breakfast item, like an Egg McMuffin?" The answer will probably depend upon whether McDonalds is serving that food type at that time of day. So also, our menu of options/types and other factors will impact how student housing requests are handled.
All requests to reside off-campus and commute are managed by the Housing Office.
For on-campus housing, the Housing Office serves as the central clearinghouse for new, incoming students ~ but it is actually the Resident Directors (RDs) who review new students' housing applications and make room placements and roommate matches.
Like the example of requesting an Egg McMuffin, the timing of any housing change request is a key factor. Once a semester has commenced, a campus resident with a room change request should go to the RD. However, prior to the start of the semester, students with housing change requests of all types should contact the Housing Office. See Fall Change Requests and Spring Change Requests.
If you have any special or confidential circumstances, or questions regarding your housing plans, contact David King, Housing Director.
Different strokes for different folks
Put your cursor over Fall Housng (in the navigation bar at left) for specific information according to student constituency:
- New Students (i.e. transfers, new first-years)
- Returning Students (i.e. living in Santa Barbara)
- Away-Abroad Students
- Re-applicants (former Westmont students)
On-campus residents are required to have a meal plan, and all first-year residents are required to have the Standard plan during the fall semester. Those who are required to have a meal plan are assigned the Standard plan, unless another plan is requested in writing to Housing. We ask returning students to select a meal plan for the fall semester when they reserve housing during the Housing Sign-Ups for Next Year in March/April. See Meal Plans for more information.
View your housing and meal plan information
We display fall housing assignments online at the Student Profile at different times for different constituents. These times are listed by consituent group under Fall Housing (see the drop-down menu for New, Returning, Away-Abroad, Re-Applicants).
The college website displays room and roommate information at these locations:
- Student Profile : includes name(s) of roommate(s) with home contact information, housing assignments for both current and upcoming semesters, and your Westmont mail box and combination.
- Res Hall Layouts : displays names of current students in the residence halls, and upcoming semester assignments.
- Student Directory : displays students' mail box #s (MS #s), email addresses, and phone and home information.
Privacy Note: Students who do not want their information displayed on the Res Hall Layouts or Student Directory may ask the Records Office to block it.
Students use their Westmont user name and password to access their profile page, and when they are trying to view the student directory from off-campus. Those who have not set up their password for network access may do so by selecting "Change Your Password?" at the profile login. If you have questions or difficulties with password issues, please contact Information Technology at email@example.com.
Right to assign
The Housing Office reserves the sole right to make all room and roommate assignments, including the right to make changes after assignments have been confirmed and posted online. This includes the right to require students to reside on-campus or off-campus.
Here are examples of why changes may occur:
- In order to not exceed the off-campus limit, by assigning students on-campus (even though they might prefer to reside off-campus and commute).
- In order to make additional housing space for students of the opposite sex.
- In order to re-locate residents in the event a building becomes uninhabitable.
- In order to assign with a different roommate. This can occur when a previously-assigned roommate cancels enrollment, or is re-assigned elsewhere by Housing. Note: we prefer that all on-campus residents have a roommate ~ especially new students and first-years.
Former Westmont students who re-apply, or intend to re-apply for the Fall semester (aka re-applicants), may see Re-Applicants for Fall for more information.