Category Archives: Information

Finding a Roommate in Purdue’s StarRez Portal

If you’re reading this, you got into Purdue and decided to live on campus. Both good choices! The next thing you’ll do if you haven’t already is find a roommate, the person with whom you’ll share space and time and if you’re lucky, toothpaste when you run out. That’s what friends are for.

Finding a roommate in Purdue’s StarRez online portal may seem daunting, but it’s actually pretty easy. In fact, you’ve probably already done the first step.

1. Fill out the Personal Preferences page.

This is Step 11 of 13 in the StarRez site, a simple questionnaire that will help match you with a compatible roommate.

1. Fill out the Personal Preferences page.

2. Decide whether to live with someone you know or someone new.

Go to Step 12 of 13 in the StarRez portal, where you’ll see instructions on selecting a roommate. There are two tabs to choose from, “Search for a roommate by Career Acct. Login” if you already know the person you want to live with, or “Search for a roommate by Personal Preferences” if you need to find a roommate.

2. Decide whether to live with someone you know or someone new.

3a. Search for a roommate you already know.

There are two ways to search for a roommate in the StarRez portal if you already know who you want to live with. First, you can ask your friend for his or her Career Account Login, which was assigned when he or she was accepted to the university. Enter that into the search button and click search, and when the login name pops up there will be a “Request” button under the name.

If you don’t know your friend’s username, you can also search the Purdue Directory from the link on the page for his or her name and then return to the “Search for a roommate by Career Acct. Login” page and enter the login name then.

Your requested roommate will then get an email to his or her email address, as well as a red notification in the top right corner of the page in StarRez and a listing on the Main page of Roommate Selection. You will then get an email and notifications when your prospective roommate accepts or rejects your request.

3a. Search for a roommate you already know.

3b. Find a roommate through personal preferences.

If you don’t have anyone in mind to room with, you can find a roommate based on shared personal preferences under the “Search for a roommate by Personal Preferences” tab. All you have to do is enter the age of the roommate you would like to live with and click the search button. If you want to live with a traditional freshman, you would enter 17 or 18 (do not input a range of ages at once, just number at a time).

You will see the Career Account Login names of other students who don’t yet have roommates, ranked by similar personal preferences (as filled out in Step 1). Your compatibility is measured by the green bar across from the prospective roommate’s name. You can view the profiles of all the students in your search to see their answers to specific questions, and once you’ve chosen a roommate, click “Request” to ask that person to be your roommate.

Your requested roommate will then get an email to his or her email address, as well as a red notification in the top right corner of the page in StarRez and a listing on the Main page of Roommate Selection (from Step 2). You will then get an email and notifications when your prospective roommate accepts or rejects your request.

3b. Find a roommate through personal preferences.

4. Once your roommate has accepted, synchronize your Hall Rankings.

You’re almost there! Once you and your roommate have agreed to live together, the last step is to synchronize your Hall Rankings (from Step 8 of 13 in StarRez). To ensure your roommate request is granted, you MUST have identical hall rankings, from Preference 1 through Preference 7. You don’t want to choose Cary Quad and have your roommate accidentally end up at IU or something.

4. Once your roommate has accepted, synchronize your Hall Rankings.

That’s all there is to it! Housing assignments will be announced on or around July 15, 2014. Thanks for choosing Purdue University Residences. We look forward to seeing you this fall!

What You Need to Know About On- vs. Off-Campus Housing

So. You’re thinking about living off campus.

Ultimately only you can decide what works best for you and your lifestyle, but here are some pros and cons to get you thinking.

Pros of living on campus

  • Parking – Many spaces are available for your use across the residential campus.
  • Proximity – Since you’re close enough to walk or bike to classes, you don’t have to worry about finding street parking just to make it to class on time.
  • Meals – The dining courts are buffet style, which means you can always get enough to eat. Every day.
  • Homework help – Not that you can’t get homework help when you live off campus, but the chances of finding someone to help when you’re on campus are greater. And a quick trip to your TA’s office isn’t out of the question.
  • Recreation – Admittedly, most apartment complexes have at least a big screen TV or pool table in their clubhouses. But not all, so I’m leaving it on the pros list.
  • One bill – Instead of having to keep track of monthly rent, utilities and internet/cable, you just have the one housing bill every year.
  • Less cleaning – Your bathrooms are cleaned regularly. Nice not to have to worry about that, isn’t it? And no dishes!
  • Social life – It’s easier to make friends when you see people daily in close quarters. Feeling social? Leave your door open and see what happens. It’s that easy.
  • Leadership opportunities – You’ll have plenty of chances to get involved with your hall club.
  • Convenience – Everything you need is right here. If it costs more to live in the residence halls, it’s because you’re paying for time saved.

Cons of living on campus/Pros of living off campus

  • Rules of the hall – Any community must have expectations for the greater good of all.
  • Sharing space – Be it your room or bathroom, it’s always tough to share. (But you could always live in First Street Towers!)

Cons of living off campus

  • Calendar year contracts – You’ll be responsible for the apartment even when school is not in session.
  • Roommate conflicts – I hope you remembered to figure out who’s buying toilet paper and milk ahead of time. You’ll have to navigate problems without the help of your RA.
  • Unfurnished apartments – You might have to buy more furniture. And then move it out later.
  • More bills – As seen above, you’ll be paying for utilities and internet/cable in addition to your lease.
  • Commute – Will you take the bus? That’s fine, but you have to make sure you’re on time for their schedule. Will you drive? Good luck with parking.
  • Food – Groceries can cost a lot, and ramen or peanut butter and jelly gets really old really fast. And when would you make larger meals? It takes time.
  • You clean – I lucked out with a roommate who cleaned when she was stressed (often), but I hear that’s not usually the case.

In summary, living off campus might cost less in the long run, but what about food? And convenience? It seems to me like you’re paying for health (eating enough, eating good food) and time.

Consider these facts as well.

What haven’t I listed? What are your reasons for living on or off campus?

What You Need to Know About Having a Roommate

getting along with roommates

This weekend you’ll be receiving your housing assignment (if you haven’t already!), which means you’ll know who your roommate will be for the 2013-2014 school year.

Okay cool. Now what?

When the semester starts, you and your new roommate will discuss and sign a roommate agreement form given to you by your RA. You might want to think about your preferences in advance, so here are the topics:

Is it okay to have music on? What time will you go to bed and wake up during the week? What about on weekends? How many times is acceptable to hit the snooze button?

Is it okay to have the TV on? When will you be studying? Do you prefer absolute silence? Is it okay to have group study sessions in the room?

Shared vs. Private Belongings
Who can use your TV, DVDs, refrigerator, microwave, printer, gaming systems, etc.? Will you share these things with guests?

Condition of the Room
What does “clean” mean to you? Who cleans or vacuums? When? What’s a comfortable room temperature for you? Do you prefer having the windows open or closed?

Is it okay to have guests over while your roommate is studying? Is it okay to have overnight guests during the week, or only on weekends?

In order to have a good living situation from the start, make sure you start fresh. Try not to approach your roommate with any preconceived ideas about seniority or entitlement; you’re both in this together. Besides, your roommate is probably just as concerned about having a roommate as you are, so do your best to be open-minded and friendly.

In the end, it all comes down to communication. Talk to your roommate (not to your friends or other people on your floor) if you have a problem with his/her conduct. And if your roommate approaches you with a problem, try not to get too defensive until you see things from his/her perspective.

A word of advice to those of you who are rooming with someone you’re already friends with: If you’d like to stay friends, communication on these points is equally as important as if you were strangers!

Do you have any suggestions for a happy roommationship?

Earth Week Activities

By NASA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Spring has finally arrived this month! Plants around campus have been blooming and everything is greening like crazy. It’s time to show our appreciation for the beauty of nature by participating in this year’s Earth Week!


Earth Day Carnival
Centennial Mall (between Wetherill/ENAD and the Bell Tower/Stanley Coulter), 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

  • Food Vendors
  • Carnival Games
  • Sustainability Information
  • Unicycle and Juggling Team
  • Evonik Wind Explorer
  • Grateful Heart Gallery – Creating Recycled Art
  • Rides from the Boilermaker Special
  • Jeopardy (sign up here)

Sustainability + Security: A Symposium
Hosted by the Honors College, panel features Col. Mykleby
STEW 318, 1:30–2:30 p.m.

Keynote Lecture: Col. Mark Mykleby – Sustainability: Our National Strategic Initiative
FRNY G140, 5:30 p.m.


Earth Day Hike with Prof. Dunning
Bell Tower, 8:30 a.m.


Volunteer Tree Planting
9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.

Tree Campus USA Ceremony
11:00 a.m.

Sign up here to plant trees.

What Incoming Purdue Students Should Know


Purdue is amazing. You’re coming here, so you know what I’m talking about. Even though navigating your undergrad can be rough, Purdue is full of wonderful surprises and experiences if you just know where to look. Here’s a list of the things I wish someone had told me when I started:

  •  Take advantage of events on campus. There’s always something going on here, usually free or at a discount for students. Check out @PSUBEVENTS or @ResLifeAtPurdue on Twitter for the latest info on free movies, concerts, improv shows, food drives, guest lectures and more.
  •  Libraries have the best places to study. You’ve probably seen the great study areas in HSSE and Hicks, but have you been to the stacks in HSSE? I’ve always found it to be much quieter there and more conducive to holing up for hours on end. The basement in the Siegesmund engineering library is similarly silent. So go ahead. Check out this map and get your nerd on.
  •  Find an internship, part-time job or volunteer work in your interest area. I didn’t do any internships until my senior year, and starting earlier than that is consequently something I would recommend for anyone. Internships gave me a better feel for what my area of study was all about and even helped in a few of my classes. View the page at the Center for Career Opportunities here and the employment page here to start your search. Don’t have a specific area in mind? The CCO can help you with that, too! This site relates your personality and interests to the various majors at Purdue. Still not satisfied? Stop by the CCO in Stewart Center to speak to a counselor, who can assist you with anything from beginning the exploration process to arranging a personality test for more concrete results.
  •  Join a club, attend a guest lecture or take a class that’s completely outside your comfort zone. I went through three majors and had what I considered a very balanced dose of Purdue (friends in many different programs, locations, and clubs), but I’m still exploring the many sides of Purdue. There’s always more to learn! Check out PurdueBoard and GetInvolved for info on upcoming callouts and events, or check the bulletin boards on your way to class.

If you have any questions about starting at Purdue, feel free to comment below. I’m sure you have a ton of information coming at you right now, so if I can help you at all, let me know!

Upperclassmen: What are some things on campus you wish you’d known about sooner? What are the best places you’ve found to study/nap/snack?

University Residences at Purdue Off-Campus Services

We want to thank each and every one of our residents for having lived with us this past year. It was a pleasure to have you with us and we are sorry to see you go.  We have enjoyed getting to know you, watch you grow, learn and become the amazing individuals you are becoming. We saw many of you move-out this past week, and we look forward to welcoming you back, returning to live with us next fall.

For those of you who have chosen to move off-campus, we also want to be sure you are aware University Residences is still committed to serving you as a Purdue student with several of your housing needs. This past year we created a new position – Assistant Director of Off-Campus Housing – for this explicit purpose: To provide an expert to help you navigate a myriad of situations that may arise with off-campus housing needs.

Following are just a few ways our Assistant Director of Off-Campus Housing can assist you should concerns arise: 

Housing Selection
University Residences is committed to assisting students in their off-campus housing search.  We provide detailed information on area apartment buildings and landlords, including: price, location, and amenities.  We also provide a database of apartment listings where students may find suitable housing options.  An additional page on Facebook – Purdue Alternative Housing -Student Guide – (must be logged into Facebook to view), allows students to post their sublet or roommate available listings.  Information on utilities, renter’s insurance, transportation, and other topics relevant to housing are also discussed during the students housing search.

Educational Programming
We offer programs that inform our students about their rights and responsibilities as tenants. These programs also include information on living in the community and being a good neighbor.  Programs may also cover information students should consider before deciding whether to live off campus, and an overview of the housing search timeline.

Our office provides consumer information regarding lease terms and housing code regulations.  We also keep sample leases on file and can address questions a student may have before signing a lease.  The office, in collaboration with the Purdue Student Government, will also offer a common language lease available for all students to view.

Landlord/Tenant Issues
Our office serves as an advocate for students dealing with landlord disputes.  We can provide students consumer information on their rights based on the housing code.  We will also apprise students of their options and encourage them to take a course of action that is in their best interests as a tenant.  We will at times make referrals to the Purdue Student Government legal resources that may be available to them as students.

Additional future projects:
Landlord Survey
New Listings Database, that includes sublet and roommate information
Off-campus programming and outreach

No matter where you choose to live, University Residences is committed to serving you. Living on campus or off, we look forward to providing excellence for our students. Have a great summer – stay safe and enjoy every minute!

University Residences at Purdue University
Smalley Center
1225 Third Street, West Lafayette IN 47907-2008
Purdue Alternative Housing Student Guide