Housing lottery goes digital

Photo of South College, housing first-year students and upperclassmen. Photo by Kathryn Kelly ’19.

The upcoming housing lottery will not require any students to visit Hugel in person and wait for their lottery number to be called to choose a room. Lafayette College Residence Life is moving all housing lotteries and applications online starting this semester, Assistant Director of Residence Life Sarah Yencha said.

The general housing lottery of each class is going to be held on a revamped version of Residence Life’s My Housing website. Instead of a lottery number, students will receive a time at which they can log on to My Housing and choose their room.

Students can form a group by sending each other roommate requests on My Housing, which each member has to accept in order for the group to be able to apply together. The deadline for block housing is April 1. The general lotteries will be held at the end of the month.

“[Members of the group] will all be randomly assigned a time [to pick rooms],” and the lottery time of the student who has the earliest time will be used for the entire group when they pick rooms, Yencha said.

Yencha said in a meeting with student government on Wednesday night that Residence Life will most likely give students times between 7 and 10 a.m. and between 4 and 7 p.m. in order to best avoid conflicts with classes.

Students will most likely have about three minutes allotted to them to choose housing at their assigned time, according to Yencha.

“When your roommate group is fully matched, anyone in the group, just as if everybody had lottery tickets, is able to pick for that group. So not everyone has to be at a computer to be picking,” she said. If no students from a group can make their assigned lottery time, a member of Residence Life can act as their proxy, she added.

Student government representative Mia Coutinho ’20 asked during the meeting whether or not the number of people in your block housing group will affect your randomly assigned time. Yencha said it would not. Seniority, however, will apply in this situation and give upper classes priority.

Director of Residence Life Grace Reynolds noted during the meeting that not everyone is guaranteed housing through this process, since there is a “finite” amount of rooms.

Another feature of the My Housing website will be listing assigned meal plan on each student’s individual site based on their class year and housing accommodations, such as if they will have a kitchen, Yencha said. However, a student can appeal their assigned meal plan and apply to get a different number of meals per week.

“Starting next year, you will be able to see what your meal plan is in My Housing,” Yencha said. “The plan for the housing meal plan situation is you will choose housing and then based on your housing and your class year you will be assigned the lowest in your category.”

About Kathryn Kelly

Kathryn Kelly '19 is the editor-in-chief of The Lafayette. She studies government & law and Classics.

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