Rising junior lottery dates pushed back two weeks

Kate Carubba

In a surprising move, the Office for Residence Life has moved back the registration date for rising junior and guaranteed senior housing. Under the new system, registration forms for the West Campus apartments will now be available on Jan. 7 rather than in November, and notifications to students will occur the week of Feb. 11, which is two weeks later than usual.

Marie Schauder, assistant director for housing services, said the change originated out of student feedback from previous years, as well as the fact that the Office for Residence Life does not even begin working on housing assignments until mid-January. Only two people have complained since the announcement of the new timing.

The changes to the system will not have much impact unless a student has to lock in to an off-campus apartment before Christmas and is depending on the strength of his or her lottery number to make that choice.

Otherwise, students are now given more time to think about whom they wish to room with, and the new system will give students more time to find off-campus housing while removing some of the stress that used to be added to final examination time.

The process of the West Campus apartment lottery remains the same as in previous years. The apartment lottery is only for rising juniors and guaranteed seniors (Presidential Scholars, nurses, scholarship athletes and female engineers). There are four sets of lottery numbers, encompassing junior and senior women and men.

Students can choose whether to enter the lottery as a single, double, triple or quadruple, though this has no effect on their chances in the lottery.

Students who do not get an apartment from the lottery have the option to be placed in a standard residence hall or live off campus.

For the students who choose the residence hall option, Residence Life does its best to ensure that the groups who registered together are near each other.

The lottery is not weighted, and does not take into account students’ previous residence hall assignments.

Vacancies in the apartments are filled throughout the year, with many students choosing to study abroad for a semester.

Schauder emphasizes that every junior and eligible senior is guaranteed housing, though not necessarily a West Campus apartment.

She said the challenge of overseeing the lottery is like a jigsaw puzzle in which she and the rest of the Office for Residence Life do their best to ensure that all the pieces fit together.