Trend in Canadian universities letting students select own roommates

August 24, 2010

A number of Canadian universities have adopted Web applications to help students find and choose their own roommates before moving into residence. New to the University of Toronto's housing website is Roommate Finder, where students log in with a screen name, pick an avatar, and fill out elaborate questionnaires about their study habits and social lives. York University, Mount Royal University, and the University of Calgary all use StarRez, through which students answer 30 questions on topics ranking from drinking habits to political views. The program calculates the results and pulls up a user's top 20 roommate matches. Critics of these tools say university-arranged roommates are better equipped to learn about conflict mediation, and also question how secure information is on the online profiles. Globe and Mail