HOUSTON – A Facebook app is giving University of Houston freshman the power to vet and choose compatible roommates. UH is one of three colleges in the country using RoomSync.
At UH, move-in days proved historic. More students than ever are living in campus dorms. Also, more new roommates are meeting for the second time.
"We got to know each other pretty well, pretty quickly on Facebook," freshman Jordan Fandry said.
They met through RoomSync. First-year students with Facebook need only register. Then each answers questions about bedtime, neatness, how often they have visitors, interests and habits. Students can view Facebook profiles, pictures, chat and choose someone compatible to live with. They can also pick rooms, too.
"I pinned her profile," Fandry said about her roommate Ellie Weaver. "(Ellie) had messaged me in the middle of the night, like, I'm interested in rooming with you. If you're not interested, that's fine. She was very passive about it."
However, it worked. The two chose each other based on mutual friends they share on Facebook.
"(Jordan) was friends with one of my best friends from middle school," Weaver said. "So, I think that's a good thing. I asked my friend Sabrina would I like her? You know me well enough. Would I like her? She was like, yeah. You would really enjoy her."
UH administrators experience perks, too. They think RoomSync can boost grades.
"We already know that it is helping student performance," Kenny Mauk, UH Housing assistant director. "When we begin to look at the retention of our students from year-to-year and the students who also persist at the University of Houston from their freshman year to their sophomore, junior and senior years as well (we see it)."
However, for Weaver and Fandry, the real treat is unpacking with someone they chose.