Incoming students deserve to see the rooms they might move into on the university’s website, especially if they can’t see the rooms in person.
According to one of TU’s own University Ambassadors, the tour route for potential new students only includes one residential a stop at a showroom in Hardesty Hall. None of the other residence halls are shown on the tour.
It certainly makes sense to show Hardesty Hall to incoming students, as it’s the nicest, most updated residence hall. It’s also set in a central location on campus, so it’s probably easy to stop in along the course of a tour.
The issue with only showing Hardesty, however, is that most of the dorms on campus look nothing like it. They’re not nearly as updated, nor do they have even remotely similar layouts. Every residence hall on campus is unique, which is great for providing a variety of living options to TU students, but not so great for University Ambassadors. Ideally, they would be able to show a room in each residence hall, but it’s not realistic to expect them to trek all over campus and hit every hall during the limited amount of time they have during tours.
Because of this, it’s difficult for incoming students to have a good idea of what living options are available to them before choosing their housing. They might be disillusioned and unhappy with their housing selection when they sign up for a room in the John expecting it to be like the Hardesty suites. That’s not conducive to fostering happy, comfortable freshmen.
An easy solution would be for TU to update the photos and information available about each residence hall on the university website. As it is right now, there’s a separate page on the TU website for each residence hall. There are floor plans and written descriptions of the amenities of each hall, which is all well and good, but it doesn’t allow students to visualize each one — certainly not in the way that an in-person tour of Hardesty does.
There are some pictures on the website, but they show a limited view of each residence hall. There are nice photos of students in their rooms, outside the hall or in common areas, for example, but they’re not helpful in visualizing how the rooms are set up. The page for Fisher South is the only one that shows the inside of a dorm room.
What’s more, the photos that are available aren’t even necessarily accurate. The single photo on the Fisher West page, for instance, isn’t a photo of Fisher West — it’s a photo of the back entrance of Fisher South.
TU could make the housing decision much easier for incoming students by providing more complete photos of the inside of the dorms — views of a room in each hall, as well as photos of the common areas. A 360-degree viewer or panoramic photos of the rooms would be even better and would be relatively easy to implement on the website.
This simple change, along with the floor plans and written descriptions already provided, would eliminate the need to show multiple dorms during tours while still providing a complete and accurate view of the housing options available to incoming students.
Ultimately, improving the information about housing options will give potential new students an accurate perception of the diverse housing available at TU and make it easier for them to choose a housing setup that truly fits their needs.