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ResCouncil recommends switch to one-segment housing lottery

Residential Council voted to recommend a new housing lottery system Tuesday afternoon with 10 yeas, one nay and one abstention. If the Office of Residential Life follows ResCouncil's recommendation, all undergraduates applying for on-campus housing for the 2006-2007 school year will participate in a new housing lottery.

The proposed lottery will have only one segment containing all rooms available for selection, eliminating the four segments divided by group size featured in previous years' lotteries. The council voted to recommend scheduling the lottery over the span of three consecutive days, starting Monday, March 20 - a period that precedes spring break - to relieve housing-related stress, members said. A third of the lottery numbers will be called each day, beginning with the lowest numbers (held by the most senior lottery entrants) and progressing down the list. As in the past, all housing options will be visually presented to applicants when it is their turn to choose. For this system to work, ResCouncil members stressed during the meeting that an individual or group should have a prioritized list of all potential housing options, since rooms will be removed from the list as upperclass students make their selections.

Justin Glavis-Bloom '07, chair of the lottery committee, told The Herald after the meeting that he expects ResLife to adopt the new lottery.

Students will be able to form groups to choose housing simultaneously. "The maximum number of students per block will be 12," said Brendan Hargreaves '06, chair of the council.

This does not mean that a group of students must block together when it is their time to choose housing. "This is a common misconception," Glavis-Bloom said. When it comes time to choose housing, "a group of students does not have to live together," Glavis-Bloom said, but can instead select any combination of available rooms so long as all group members are housed.

To avoid confusion, ResCouncil plans to advertise and hold information sessions for undergraduates if the lottery is ultimately changed.

ResCouncil also passed several other recommendations relating to student housing. The Program House Council developed an application for developing program houses, which ResCouncil passed unanimously. The new application calls for an outlined mission statement and stipulated requirements such as community service, social events and a constitution.

"Usually these houses want to be on Wriston," Hargreaves noted in the meet-ing, but other spaces may be available.

One member noted that this process has not been advertised among under-graduates. At that moment, a student wandered into the meeting and said she wanted to know if there were program house applications.

Other proposals were passed in the meeting that concerned sophomore-only housing. Three houses that were previously reserved for sophomores lost that designation. Current sophomore-only portions of Barbour, Goddard and Sears will be available to juniors and seniors for housing next year, pending approval from ResLife.


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