by Irma Pelt
Senior Staff Writer
Residential students at Hillgate University are questioning everything they believed to be true about their roommate relationships after it was revealed that their preference surveys were not actually considered in the assignment process.
“We have received information that one of our staff members thought it was permissible to use the roommate assignment process as a social experiment, or worse, some whimsical activity to keep herself entertained,” said Tyler Baloun, Director of Residential Services at Hillgate.
Baloun confirmed reports that Kemma Parker, assistant director of assignments and operations, was terminated from her position earlier this week.
“We found a blog where Ms. Parker documented her experiments with assignments,” said Baloun. “We’re lucky no serious damage was done to our residents and their development. They trust that 20 question online survey to give them their new best friend. She toyed with their trust.”
The blog, which has since been deleted, revealed that in Fall 2008, Parker assigned all residents named Kayla to the same wing of a residence hall.
“There were exactly enough Kaylas in the first year class to fill a floor,” Parker wrote in her blog. “The resident assistant will love her life because filling out the sociogram of her floor will be a cinch.”
Parker kept record of the number of room changes requested throughout the year and successfully managed to move only Kaylas within that floor.
“It’s like a new level of hell,” Parker wrote. “They’re stuck and are losing their own sense of identity. When someone yells ‘Kayla!’ down that hallway, at least forty women respond.”
Students were shocked by the news.
“My roommate and I are best friends,” said Kayla Davenport, a rising sophomore. “But if this is true, it means she and I really aren’t meant to be together and now I’ll probably just not talk to her anymore.”
Davenport relied on Residential Services to place her with her ideal roommate.
“This is a big deal to me. It turns out my entire relationship with my roommate is a farce. Now we’re nothing more than matching sheets and shared pints of ice cream,” said Davenport.
Parker documented that in 2008, she had entered into a covert handshake agreement with an admissions counselor at Hillgate, who was referred to as “Red Polo.” Parker outlined a plan to assign residents to the same room who shared at least three statistically unlikely things in common.
“The pure glee when they realize that they share a birthday is nothing compared to the reaction of discovering they have the same father,” wrote Hillgate.
Baloun explained that Parker used confidential information from application essays, housing contracts, and Facebook to make assignments rather than the results of the roommate preferences survey.
“On the bright side,” said Baloun,”it really made no difference in the number of room change requests we had.”