Feelin’ lucky? Here comes the housing lottery

In any lottery, there is usually a small percentage of winners and a large amount of losers. Because of the demand for on-campus housing at the College, there is a housing lottery in place. However, upperclassmen need not fret; a low lottery pick does not necessarily make you a loser in this lottery.

The housing lottery instituted by the College was started as a fair process for assigning housing to upperclassmen. Although rising sophomores are guaranteed housing, the process is used to aid in the selection process of rooms because not all the dorms offered are the same. In contrast, juniors and seniors are not promised housing and must apply to the housing lottery if they want to live on campus.

It is fairly easy to enter the lottery. Students only needed to fill out a quick survey and pay a $100 deposit on TESS in mid-February. Other major deadlines and a lottery information sheet were sent in a packet by e-mail from the office of Residential Life.

“It’s a simple procedure, as long as you follow the checklist that Res Life sent out,” Brianna Glynn, freshman biology major, said.

Lottery participants are randomly assigned numbers and they are posted online in alphabetic male and female lists. The closer you are to one, the higher your pick. After the lottery numbers are assigned, sophomores can pick their residences for next year on March 26-27. Juniors and seniors who make the housing cutoff can sign up for rooms March 28-30 depending on their numbers. Housing selection and contract signing will take place in the T/W link, and students who make the cutoff should enter through the Travers Hall entrance. If you cannot be there on the day of your signing, you must sign a proxy form, which is available online, and have someone sign in your place.

Sophomores have the option of living in one of five dorms: Allen, Brewster and Ely Halls (ABE), Decker Hall, Centennial Hall, New Residence Hall and Norsworthy Hall.

“I want Decker,” Danny Giovenco, freshman communication studies major, said. “I’ve heard it has a more social atmosphere similar to the freshman dorms. It has bigger rooms and the suite-style rooms allow me to stay with my friends.”

Decker and New Residence, or New Res as it is often called, are by far the most popular dorms. Decker offers single, double and triple rooms connected to other rooms by a bathroom. New Res offers hotel-style spacious double rooms with a connecting bathroom, carpeting and air conditioning. Decker is considered one of the social dorms, while New Res has a more subdued environment.

“New Res was a really nice sophomore dorm,” Nick Starzynski, senior civil engineering major, said. “The rooms are very similar to Eickhoff, except a little bit older. There is also air conditioning, which is a major plus after living in Wolfe freshman year.”

Other dorms made available to sophomores – ABE, Centennial and Norsworthy – are the less popular choices. All three dorms, though differently set up, have traditional-style living. There are double and some single rooms with hall bathrooms. ABE is made up of three connected houses that have coed floors with a small number of people per floor.

Norsworthy is a coed dorm that has both male and female bathrooms on each floor. Centennial is a U-shaped building that has male and female wings connected by a common lounge. It has been in use over 50 years and is planned to be knocked down after the Metzger Drive apartments, which are being built to alleviate housing concerns, are completed.

“I want to live in either Decker or New Res because I heard they were the only buildings not falling apart,” Jen Mosesku, freshman open options business major, said.

Although freshmen object to the idea of living in the unpopular dorms next year, seniors say it is not that bad.

“Community settings, with their community bathrooms and multiple floors, allow for a richer experience at the onset of the college career,” Jon King, senior psychology major, said. “Suites . had (their) own drawbacks because most residents already had their friends and did not want to come out onto the floor and be social.”

Juniors and seniors have two choices for on-campus housing: Townhouses South, East and West, and Eickhoff Hall. Eickhoff has large hotel-style rooms with private bathrooms and is centrally located on campus. Townhouses all have three floors and house 10 people in single rooms. The first floor has a spacious lounge and each floor has its own bathroom. The townhouses are the newest dorms on campus, but a far walk from the academic buildings.

Seniors and juniors who don’t make the cutoff, and sophomores who missed steps in the lottery process, can apply for the waiting list on April 2, or choose to get their $100 reimbursed and find alternate off-campus housing.

Off-campus housing for juniors and seniors offered through the College are 12 houses on Pennington Road and Carlton Avenue and the Country Club apartments on Sullivan Road.

They both have full amenities, but unlike the houses, students at the apartments need to have access to a car because it is a far walk to campus.

On its Web site, Residence Life said that “Most students who apply to the waitlist do receive housing before the end of the fall semester!”

Because of the College’s housing lottery system, students with high numbers may feel like losers, but despite preconceived notions of the different dorms available, all dorms have their positive attributes and drawbacks. Ultimately, students who have a positive outlook on their living situation have fun in their prospective dorms.

The lottery numbers come out today in the Travers/Wolfe Link, Eickhoff 114 and on the Residence Assignments Web site – so good luck, and happy picking.