Starting this academic year, there will no longer be a cluster lottery for Juniors. Instead of having priority in dorms within their respective cluster, all Juniors, excluding those deciding to triple or stack, will enter the all-school housing lottery.
Previously, Juniors who wished to stay in their cluster had the option of entering a cluster-based lottery; the students already in their desired cluster were given priority over dorms in that cluster.
Raj Mundra, Assistant Dean of Students, said, “The new process is that, as in years past, there are triples available for Juniors, and also stacks available for Juniors to bid on. The only thing that we are shifting is the cluster preference [to remove] that middle step where students had preference to stay within their cluster before the Junior all-school lottery.”
Mundra continued, “There are reasons about why we have moved away from that including the most prominent, the most clear, is fairness. And we felt that [in] different clusters, ninth grade boarding students in different clusters did not have the same type of options for housing going into tenth grade within their clusters. And we thought that that was not fair.”
The decision to eliminate in-cluster priority for ninth graders has been an ongoing topic of discussion between the Dean of Students Office and other members of the Andover campus.
Mundra said, “This has been a conversation for many years in the Dean of Students office. Ultimately it is the Dean of Students office that have made this decision; that is the cluster deans, Ms. Elliott and myself. We have spoken to many ninth grade house counselors and to students also, who have gone through the system.”
While this new policy affects rising tenth graders, it will not change the housing process for rising 11th and 12th graders.
Martha Fenton, Dean of West Quad North Cluster, said, “We are pretty unique as a school in the variety of our dorms, and the cluster system makes us even more unique… I think the variety works really well for our student body.”
Theodore Parker, Dean of Abbot Cluster, said “We’re constantly reevaluating the housing process, trying to make it as equitable as possible and inclusive as possible.”