Photo by Julia Kelley

Due to COVID-19 protocol, Otterbein’s Reslife has developed a new plan for the 2021 housing selection process.

In a non-pandemic year, housing selection is usually an in-person process. Students that planned on living on campus, in a residence hall, a Commons apartment or a Theme house used to gather in the Campus Center on a designated day. On that day they would decide on their living arrangements.

Now, the plan has been updated with a few changes to keep students socially distant and safe throughout the whole process.

Director of Residence Life, Tracy Benner, who is currently overseeing the whole process, stated, “We did as much as we could electronically this year.”


Recent emails that Reslife has sent out gave students some more information on what to expect for housing selection. Students are now required to fill out an online form. This form includes questions regarding housing, roommates and preferred meal plan, which was due March 5.

After forms are submitted, Reslife will verify everyone’s priority points and credit hours to determine a selection order. When this is done, students are to expect an email regarding their selection date and time. Benner noted that students will probably receive these emails sometime in early April.

The email will provide the roommate members with a specific day and time where Reslife will contact the group’s designated proxy. The proxy is one roommate selected to be a spokesperson for the group.


Every group will have an hour to respond with their preferred housing arrangements. This process replaces the Campus Center selection day that would usually occur.

Since this process will take more than one day, students can constantly check the residence life tab in Ozone to see updated floor plans for selection. Students can check these floor plans to see what dorms have already been chosen, and which ones are blocked off as quarantine dorms for the fall 2021 semester.

In the spring 2020 semester, Reslife was also forced to adjust the housing selection process since COVID-19 first hit that March. Otterbein had to send students home, and Reslife quickly developed a plan for the process to be online instead.

Benner stated that Reslife is feeling a lot more prepared than last year, and that students should expect many emails in the near future with updates on the housing selection process.