Dec 112009
Authors: Sara Michael

The Roommate Roundup, western as it sounds, has nothing to do with cows or corrals or anything else western. But it is like speed dating for roommates.

Roughly 30 students sit around the room, some with easy smiles on their faces as they prepare to charm potential roommates, others with nervous and objective expressions as they examine their possibilities.

Their name tags mark them for what they are: green, for those who have a home, and red, for those who need one.

And the red are badly outnumbered, almost six to one.

“We don’t know who will show up on any given night,” said program assistant Luke Schnickel with an apologetic smile.

Wednesday’s Roommate Roundup, hosted by CSU’s Off-Campus Life, was one of two opportunities this week for students looking for roommates or a place to live next semester to find people in similar situations. The other roundup takes place tonight from 5 to 6 p.m. in Room 195 of the Lory Student Center.

Katie Powell, a spokesperson for the event, said in an earlier interview that OCL tries to hold these type of meet-and-greets a few times a year to help students find roommates or houses. And, she said, they are usually quite successful.

So tonight, as one by one the Reds stand and give their “student seeking homes” testimonies, the Greens eye them hungrily, and they hardly wait for all the Reds to finish talking before they pounce.

Miranda Hicks, a junior natural resources major, sells her apartment to anyone who will listen. Both she and her current roommate, whom she met on her hall freshman year, had plans to study abroad next semester. However, plans fell through and only her roommate is going, leaving Hicks with an open room.

“I didn’t give enough advance notice that she was moving, so now I’m stuck,” says Hicks.

Meanwhile, Schnickel guides people to fill out information cards and register online for the best chance of finding a roommate. Reasoning with how many people use technology today, he says that it is good to cover all the bases.

But, he adds, “The face-to-face is important.”

Sophomores psychology major Carly Westerson and zoology major Hilary Mroz come together, teaming up to try and find a compatible roommate. The pair met their junior year of high school, roomed together freshman year and are searching for a roommate for their third room in the Ram’s Village Apartments this year.

Talking to Alex Mahlock, also a sophomore psychology major, they find a bonding point.

“You two might have classes together!” Mroz says, and the three exchange smiles.

Mahlock has a story of his own that put him on the market for a new room.

“I’m living in the living room right now,” he says. “It’s a one-bedroom place, and my roommate’s girlfriend started coming around … She’s going to be moving in, not paying rent … I’m like a third wheel.”

Mahlock grins as he adds, “They don’t know I’m moving out.”

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