From Manual to Automated: Auburn University’s Room Assignments

The Issue

Auburn University had a manual paper process for room assignments—a process so time-consuming that Assignment Coordinators like Lindsey Sharpe began the assigning process as early as late February. A standard season began with about 700 sorority students handing in their signed paper applications to Lindsey. Six weeks later, Lindsey would finish room assignments for just the sisters, and then she would move on to the renewal students and eventually to the freshmen. All assignments needed to be completed before freshman orientation in May. With a labor-intensive process like this, Lindsey's time was strapped, to say the least.

The Solution

Auburn University chose CBORD's Odyssey HMS ResCenter®. Instead of having stacks of rooming papers to sort, match, and enter into a database, Lindsey watches the entire process happen online from her desk, as the 700 sorority students select and submit their preferences. "CBORD came onsite to implement, and after one-and-a-half days of training, I was up and running," she said. The automation has a positive effect on student experience as well—students got what they wanted more quickly and were able to be actively involved in the outcome of their housing selections.

The Result

Now Lindsey spends her time focusing on tasks that formerly were pushed aside. Previously, she said, "blocks of time had to be dedicated to assignment season. Now I can focus on writing policies and completing committee work. It almost feels weird not to be so busy right now... almost."