Seventeen new beds added to fill need in 09-10

As a result of a larger than expected number of students registering to participate in last night’s room draw, Campus Life made the decision to convert a number of current single rooms into doubles, as well as some lounge areas into student rooms. The changes will create a total of seventeen additional beds to meet the larger need.

In his e-mail to the student body, Aaron Gordon, assistant director of Campus Life, cited factors such as changing study away numbers, students living off-campus and “general increases in overall retention” as probable causes for the “unusually large group of students wanting to live on campus.”

Each year after students register for room draw, the Campus Life staff identify the “question marks,” which Gordon explained are the students who are eligible to participate in room draw but have not signed up, or those who have both registered for room draw and turned in a study away petition.

“In the past it has ended up that the number of people who want to participate in room draw is equivalent to the number of beds that we have,” Gordon said. “This year, more of the question marks told us that they did in fact want to be part of room draw.”
Gordon explained that the unexpectedly large group faced him with the option of either creating additional beds prior to room draw or placing the extra students into rooms during the summer. “I thought that it would be worse to tell people that they can’t participate in room draw at all,” he said. “This way, we can deal with the fall out afterwards.”

As a result, 13 current singles in Morgan, Fay, Currier, Agard, Dodd and Hubbell will be converted to doubles for the coming year. In addition, three of the lounges in Morgan will become students rooms, and rooms in Dennett basement may also be utilized. “Many of the Morgan lounges were originally students rooms that later became lounges,” Gordon said. “Hopefully in the future we’ll be able to recapture some of the lounge space.”

For most, the conversions mean that there will be enough beds for students participating in the room draw. However, Spencer Neighborhood is further over its bed count than the other neighborhoods and the students at the end of the Spencer lottery may be forced to select rooms in other neighborhoods.

Students with Spencer lottery numbers 121 to 126 received a separate e-mail from Campus Life detailing the procedure they should follow.

Gordon encouraged the students to attend room draw in the event that there were leftover beds due to others missing the room draw. For those students who are unable to pick into Spencer Neighborhood, Campus Life will hold a “mini-lottery” on Thursday, during which the students will pick into the rooms left across campus.

For the students in the final Spencer pick groups, the uncertainty of their living situation has caused worry and frustration. “I’m concerned that I’ll be in a house far away from the rest of my neighborhood,” said Xio Pinto ’12, one of the students affected by the Spencer bed shortage. “I’m upset that people switched into my neighborhood this year and will not get to pick in without a problem. I also don’t want to be separated from the rest of my pick group; it completely defeats the purpose of pick groups.”

Gordon has received some of the concerns of affected students, and plans to continue working with them. “Hopefully the remaining groups will not be completely split up,” Gordon said. “We have to wait to see what’s available after the initial room draws.”

In addition, the students will not be forced to change neighborhood affiliation, and Gordon pledged to continue working with dissatisfied students throughout the rest of the year and the summer.

“This was an unexpected situation,” he said. “We certainly would have notified students sooner if we could have.”