Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 6:00 pm | Updated: 6:17 pm, Fri Nov 11, 2016.
Editor’s note: After initially publishing this story, Student Development provided The Talon with further information regarding Roomies. According to Larissa Leifer and Sarah Jobson, directors of Community Life and Residence Life & Housing, respectively, the traditional event known as Roomies, or GYRAD (Get Your Roommate A Date) became the responsibility of Resident Life after careful deliberation from Student Development and NUSG. Because it is not a campus-wide event, and therefore not under the facilitation of the Student Activities Board, Roomies’ budget was limited to what Residence Life felt willing to allocate from their budget.
In previous years, Roomies has been organized mainly by Northwest University’s student government, who would plan the date, time and location for Roomies, and then give out, or sometimes sell, tickets to students after they go through the “asking” procedure.
“You would either go to the pumpkin patch…or, one year they rented out a movie theater,” said RA Aleena Lysikova.
A number of various factors led to Roomies being administrated by Residential Life this year.
“The budget was zippo,” said Lysikova. “It’s fine, it’s okay, but then it makes the residents less interested because now there isn’t a certain event…I don’t think a lot of people participated.”
Regardless of the lacking funds, students in Gray-Beatty still found ways to enjoy themselves with their own individual dates. Some attended concerts, while others saw the NU Drama’s showing of The Diary of Anne Frank to support their fellow students
Unlike previous years, Gray-Beatty and GPC planned Roomies completely independently of each other. While Gray-Beatty’s Roomies night happened on Friday, Nov. 4, GPC is holding their own organized event on Saturday, Nov. 19.
“Basically it’s just going to be an opportunity for students to get to know each other,” RA Macray Jerome said. “I mean you could date–if you want–after that, but the reality of that happening is probably pretty low.”
According to the RAs, Residential Life was on a time crunch for putting together their Roomies plans.
“We came up with the idea to do…speed dating, in like fourteen minutes,” said Jerome.
Time and budget aren’t the only factors affecting Rommies. Both RAs showed concern regarding the relationship between the dorm buildings.
“It’s going to build a lot of freshman unity,” said Jerome, “[but] it kind of takes away the unity between GPC and Gray-Beatty.”
“I understand the unity that they wanted to build with their buildings separately, but… [having] a different Roomies date… I don’t think that’s ever happened,” said Lysikova.
Spring semester’s Roomies event will be better prepared, as Residential Life has more time to plan. Lysikova recommended improving the next Roomies by having a combined event with both Gray-Beatty and GPC. She also suggested the help of a better budget for the next round.