University News

Juniors snatch singles in lottery

The Residential Council created a ‘fake building’ for students planning to study abroad

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, April 11, 2013

The annual housing lottery’s first night saw scenes of both excitement and disappointment yesterday evening as rising juniors and seniors chose housing for the next academic year.

The event began promptly at 6 p.m., with the goal of getting through 130 lottery numbers per hour. Students crowded the doors of Sayles Hall in preparation for the lottery to begin. Residential Life members were also present to answer last-minute questions.

Students with the first 10 lottery numbers made their way to the front and waited by the side while Cody Shulman ’13, housing lottery committee chair for Residential Council, made reminder announcements regarding suite fees and rooms already taken by squatters and Residential Peer Leaders. The first two lottery picks were Vartan Gregorian Quad B 405C and 405B. Singles in Minden and Slater Halls followed soon after in the top five lottery numbers.

This year, Residential Life officials offered the option of a “fake building,” meant for students who decided to study abroad or take time off next semester after already committing to a lottery group. It is a way to “opt out of your group without penalizing your group,” said Richard Hilton, associate director of Residential Life, and was meant to make the night more efficient.

“I think it makes a lot of sense, especially for people who entered into a big group,” said Jenna Ditto ’15, who is studying abroad next semester and took advantage of the fake building option.

Olivia Conetta ’14, a member of Residential Council and a former Herald copy desk chief, said though the fake building option eased stress, the reduced number of singles this year may have a negative impact. “It might be harder for (rising) juniors to get what they really want,” she said.

James Tran ’15 said it was “ridiculous” that the Graduate Center had been taken out of the sophomore pool and is now part of the junior and senior pool.

“A lot of us may have to stay there,” he said. The new set-up is “really nice to rising sophomores,” said Diego Morales ’15, also part of Tran’s housing group.

Last night was Megumi Tsuda’s ’13.5 first housing lottery experience. “It’s pretty stressful,” Tsuda said. “I’m stressed because everyone else is stressed.”

Samantha Gay ’14 received a lottery number within the top 50 this year and successfully got her top choice, a single in the Vartan Gregorian Quad. “I’m happy that for my last (year) I got a good one,” Gay said. “My list was really anal and organized. I was prepared for any situation.”

Despite the stress, the lottery had its lighter moments. At lottery number 26, the housing lottery had its first no-show, which was met with applause and cheers from the crowd. Subsequent no-shows were met with similar enthusiasm. As time went on, the cheers became more plentiful and more passionate for these announcements.

“That’s more like it,” Shulman responded to an especially zealous applaud from the crowd.

Rising upperclassmen displayed an evident preference for singles. All singles in 315 Thayer, Vartan Gregorian Quad, Hegeman and New Pembroke were gone within the first hour of the lottery, and unlike the no-shows, this was not met with a positive reaction.

“I know I’m going for a single in Grad Center,” said Freddie Yuan ’15, adding that his strategy was simple — “as long as it’s a single.”

The lottery in its entirety was “very smooth,” Hilton said.

Some upperclassmen said the new housing changes, which moved dorms like Grad Center to rising juniors and seniors and Perkins Hall to rising sophomores, worked to their disadvantage.

“It was a little difficult for juniors overall,” said Residential Council member Rudy Chen ’15. The changes “worked at the expense of upperclassmen.”

The lottery concluded with number 535, a no-show in a long line of passes and no-shows. The second round of the lottery will take place April 16.

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