A Chicago startup that helps college students set boundaries to avoid, or at least minimize, roommate conflicts announced Tuesday its expansion to 15,000 student users, including those at Lake Forest College and at the University Center in the Loop.
Roompact’s user base has skyrocketed in the past three months as a result of its partnership with Adirondack Solutions, Roompact CEO Matt Unger told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Adirondack is a woman-owned, 15-year-old New Jersey-based company whose software takes care of student-housing operations such as databases, billing, housing lotteries and room assignments at hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide.
Neither Roompact nor Adirondack disclosed details about the partnership.
Roompact’s software works with Adirondack to provide online roommate agreements that college students use to set parameters on things such as sharing property, room-cleaning duties and ensuring security.
“Sitting down and completing our roommate agreement was my favorite part of Roompact because it gave my roommate and me the opportunity to sit down, talk about what we want to do, and it helped us get to know each other,” said Madelynn Johnson, a first-year student at Lake Forest College.
Unger said the number of colleges and universities that use Roompact’s software is in “the double digits,” and extends from Massachusetts to California.
In the past nine months, Roompact has grown one to four full-time employees and from no part-timers to five, Unger said. The company is headquartered at the Catapult Chicago start-up space at 321 N. Clark St. after outgrowing the 1871 tech hub.
Roompact’s contract with the University Center, 525 S. State St., covers students who attend Columbia College, DePaul, Robert Morris and Roosevelt universities. The company’s software also is being used at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis.
Roompact sends students a text message weekly or twice-a-month to get updates from the students on how they are doing. The system also lets university staff members track the agreements and notifies them if something appears amiss.
Unger said students respond to more than 60 percent of Roompact’s text message surveys, compared with a typical response rate of 27.9 percent, accoridng to a study by the University of Michigan and the University of Massachusetts-Boston.
Usage of the system is likely to increase as more schools are requiring sophomores to live in university housing to help them maintain academic and social interaction with the campus.
Stacy Oliver-Sikorski, associate director of residence life at Lake Forest, said in a statement, “Our housing is more full this year than ever before. While it’s great to have a full, vibrant campus, it also diminishes our ability to facilitate room changes.
“Roompact gives us an excellent tool to manage roommate expectations and, if necessary, address conflicts that arise,” she said.