Decompressing and destressing the housing lottery

Students compare floor plans of South College and Watson Hall.

Photo by Hana Isihara ‘17

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The Lafayette breaks down the room selection process for Fall 2015

Many students dread the thought of sitting with their peers, anxiously awaiting their number being called during the housing lottery for their living situation next year. It may be a stress relief for some that there are various other opportunities in the housing selection process.

Almost half of all students are assigned housing prior to the lottery through one of the fifteen other options the school offers. Among these other options are special interest, block housing, Greek housing, Lafayette Learning Communities and off-campus housing.

This semester, some changes have been made regarding room selection processes in order to benefit the students who choose to pursue these opportunities. The deadlines have been spread out so that students can apply to another option if they are not accepted to their first choice, Director of Residence Life Grace Reynolds tells the Lafayette.

In addition, the options for block housing have been expanded to accommodate students who want to remain with groups of friends.

“One thing that we are really encouraging students to think about is less of a focus on a particular building, and more of a focus on the people that they’re with,” Reynolds said.

Those students who do not choose to take advantage of these specific housing options will have to wait until mid-April, when they will be randomly assigned a lottery number. The lottery is organized by class year and gender, with rising seniors receiving the first pick, and rising sophomore, the last. So, much of the stress that comes with the lottery lies with the rising sophomores.

Really, the process comes down to luck. In the last sophomore housing lottery for females, a pair of roommates obtained the first two numbers.

“My roommate and I were totally floored when we figured out we had the number one and number two pick,” Clare Stomber ‘17 said. “It was really nice not having to stress too much about whether we’d end up on the waitlist or in a dorm we didn’t like.”

Other students, however, were not so lucky, and their stress went beyond just waiting for their numbers to be called.

“My roommate and I had two of the last lottery numbers, and were placed on the waitlist until July,” Alexandra Eglow ‘17 said. “We were super stressed for the two months that we waited for our housing assignment, especially since we couldn’t get anything for our room.”

Regardless of the anxiety-ridden wait, all students will eventually receive housing and can be confident that the administration will try to keep them with their roommate.

“My first priority when I have anyone who’s on the waitlist is that I keep roommate groups together,” Reynolds said.

As application deadlines approach, students should put some thought into their housing options for the fall semester. More information about these opportunities and applications are outlined on the Residence Life website.

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