More available rooms ease room draw

The room draw for year three in the neighborhood system, held last Tuesday and Wednesday evenings in Paresky and the Log, reflected trends from years past. However, changes in Baxter Fellow and teaching assistant (TA) housing policies made available more rooms during the draw.

Last year, the Office of Campus Life allowed Baxter Fellows and two of their friends to choose their rooms before the all-campus room draw. Aaron Gordon, assistant director of Campus Life, said that last year he heard complaints from the student body about privileging Baxter Fellows by giving them priority room picks. Because the priority incentive did not draw in notably more applications than Campus Life has seen in similar programs from years past, staff members decided to begin the application process for Baxter Fellows after room draw this year.

“We didn’t notice a difference in the number of people applying,” Gordon said, adding that there was no reason not to return to a system of picking housing coordinators once they were already assigned a room.

Nine to 12 TAs have previously been allocated rooms before room draw, as well, but this year they will be living in off-campus housing, Gordon said.
These changes made available over 100 rooms that in previous years would have already been taken.

“There was more selection for everyone during room draw,” Gordon said. “We had more available rooms per student.”

Baxter Fellow applications are due on Monday, and Gordon said that he has already received a number of inquiries about the position, and expects a similar amount of applications as last year. After the deadline, Gordon may have to solicit specific dorms for students interested in the position if no applications come in from certain campus residences.

Another significant change to the room draw process was the implementation of online registration. Gordon explained that the new system allowed Campus Life to ensure that all students receive a pick number, while in years past certain students, like those who are returning from taking time off, were mistakenly left out of the draw.

The online forms allowed Campus Life staff to note that, due to changes in rising juniors studying abroad and junior advisor plans, there were more students picking into Dodd Neighborhood than there were available beds. Gordon asked the last pick group in Dodd to transfer to Currier, and another Dodd pick group that heard of the switch requested also to be moved. “This other move to Currier brought the neighborhoods to a perfect balance,” Gordon said. “It worked out well for us.”

Trends in room selection were on par with years past. “There were no surprises for me this year,” Gordon said.

In Currier Neighborhood, singles in Fitch, Fayerweather and East were the first to go, and doubles in those dorms as well as Currier were the last. Spencer Neighborhood saw singles in West and Spencer House taken at the top of the lottery, and doubles in West at the bottom. In Dodd Neighborhood, singles in the Dodd Quad houses – Hubbell, Parsons, Sewall and Dodd went first – and Tyler Annex rooms were last. Students in Wood Neighborhood chose singles in Wood House and Perry first, and took singles and doubles in Garfield last.