About 250,000 students have signed up for RoomSurf over the past three years. The University of Central Florida and the University of Arizona have established official partnerships with the website.
RoomSurf cofounder Justin Gaither said the online forum is popular because it allows students to decide for themselves what is most important.
“That’s a thing a lot of schools are concerned about. Are these students just going to collect identical clones of themselves?” he said. “But you’ve got to trust your students and give them credit that they’re smart enough to know that just because you both watch ‘Jersey Shore’ won’t automatically make you good roommates.”
Sommers was pleased with his Amherst choice, who is from Chicago: Hours after receiving housing assignments, the roommate introduced himself via Facebook and the two talked about sharing amenities.
“So far, it seems like it’s going to be great,” Sommers said.
Things weren’t so good for Bernardo. She filled out the housing survey, but while the two freshman roommates had similar living styles, their personalities clashed. Slammed doors and bouts of passive-aggressive silence ensued. Still, she says assigned roommates are the right choice. “College is all about growing up and finding out what you’re capable of. And your living situation is part of that.”
Martine Powers can be reached at email@example.com.