Donate

Anxiety, relief as first rooms fly off the board

By
Friday, April 3, 2009

At 6 p.m. sharp yesterday, Deb Mahato ‘09.5 was on the spot.

With the first pick of the 2009 Housing Lottery, Mahato chose a single in West Andrews, and Brown’s annual dash for on-campus housing officially began.

The first half of this year’s lottery went off smoothly Thursday night in Sayles Hall, with almost 500 numbers called in a rapid-fire three hours. The night’s final pick went to six rising juniors – group number 488 – just before 9 p.m.

“I’m sweating,” said Sage Erskine ’11, one of the students who had the last pick of the night. “My adrenaline is all up and down!”

All six women in the group were on the edges of their seats, yelling words of encouragement to the groups ahead of them that did not choose the Goddard House suite they wanted. Every time there was a no-show, the girls could be heard cheering from anywhere in Sayles.

“Our strategy is to intimidate everyone,” Erskine joked.

Mahato, who is entering his tenth semester, said he “just wanted some quiet space, so it didn’t matter where I’m staying, because I know very few people and most of my friends are gone.”

Maggie Machaiek ‘09.5 had the 11th number called Thursday, but she was still nervous before heading to the podium to make her pick. “I really wanted a single in Minden, but there are only 10 so I was really nervous,” she said.

It turns out she needn’t have worried – she got her wish.

For others, like Jennifer Tan ’11 who had number 403, the housing lottery was especially tumultuous.

“I’m dissatisfied,” Tan said. “We’re at the beginning of the bottom half of numbers, so we can’t even be on the waitlist to maybe get a good room. And there were a lot of people going abroad, so there was a lot of hectic switching around.”

Tan came to Sayles prepared with a thick stack of floor plans highlighting the best rooms.

Some people were even too nervous to speak to The Herald. Aparna Kumar ’10 declined an interview, saying only, “We have to concentrate. I’m freaking out!”

Others, like Melissa Diaz ’10, had not entered themselves into the lottery but were still in Sayles to offer moral support to their friends and “enjoy a little bit of no-stress,” Diaz said.

Besides the chaos, the housing lottery is also notorious for causing rifts between friends.

“This year was pretty chill,” said Tarah Knaresboro ’11, a former Herald copy editor. “We’re another year more mature. The drama happens freshman year.”

But not everyone felt the same way. One lottery-goer, Michael Frauenhofer ’11, said he “had a mild disagreement with a group member about cleanliness and then they left our group.”

Many of the students that The Herald talked to also said this year’s housing lottery seemed more organized than in previous years and that the switch from MacMillan 117 – the site of last year’s lottery – to Sayles Hall was a good decision.

Ben Lowell ’10, the chair of Residential Council’s Housing Lottery Committee, was one of the people in charge of making sure the event ran smoothly.

“MacMillan was too small of a venue,” Lowell said. “Sayles was a bigger space that we could do a lot with.”

Another difference this year was the increased number of no-shows – the 44 no-shows Thursday night were almost double the number who failed to pick on the first night last year.

“A lot of no-shows are people who applied before they found out about going abroad,” Lowell said.

To stay up-to-date, subscribe to our daily newsletter.

Comments are closed.

Comments are closed. If you have corrections to submit, you can email The Herald at herald@browndailyherald.com.