Some students find social media more helpful than Ohio State housing resources when looking for roommates.
Andrew Brennan, a third-year in business, was left with a little more than a month to find a place to live after his roommates asked him to move out.
“I tried to use OSU’s roommate finder, but apparently nobody else does,” Brennan said. “I couldn’t find anyone who fit my description on there so I posted on Reddit.”
Brennan found three men through Reddit — a social networking website where users post and submit content through links or by text posts — who needed a roommate.
“There are a lot of weird people on the Internet so I suppose I was little nervous about meeting strangers to live with,” Brennan said.
He said he used Reddit because he’s used the site for reading about other topics before.
Last week, Brennan said he had moved in and was happy with his new roommates.
Student Life spokesman Dave Isaacs said it’s important for students to get to know their prospective roommates as much as possible before moving in with them.
“Whenever you’ve got a roommate situation, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with these people and doing a lot of activities that are just a part of everyday life,” Isaacs said. “It’s certainly a good thing to get to know that person and their habits before entering into a contractual relationship.”
Isaacs said OSU doesn’t particularly advise against using the Internet to find roommates.
“It’s not that we discourage the use of social media, we just try to offer alternatives,” he said.
Neighborhood Services and Collaboration and Off-Campus and Commuter Student Engagement, both within OSU’s Student Life, host an online program called Roommate Search where OSU students can make an online profile and create and search ads by other students looking for roommates.
Payton Kantzer, a first-year in forestry, fisheries and wildlife, posted on the OSU Housing website looking for a roommate.
“I went to the OSU site and created an ad and looked through other people’s ads but there weren’t very many posts on there,” Kantzer said. “I didn’t get a single response to my ad, so I posted on Facebook.”
Kantzer said she and her current roommates have met with 10 to 15 girls who responded to her Facebook posts on an OSU group page.
“I guess it could be dangerous to use social media, but not the way we’re using it,” Kantzer said. “We always have them meet us in a public place.”
Kantzer said students choose to use social media to search for roommates because it is easy to use and is used by a wide range of people.
Brennan said the necessity of finding a roommate outweighed any fears he had about meeting strangers through social media.
“I’m not a very imposing figure, but it’s possible my prospective roommates are discussing the danger of having me as a roommate right now, too,” Brennan said.