Digital Housing Lottery System to be Implemented in This Year’s Housing Process

Seeking to design a shortened and stress-free housing process, this year’s housing lottery will be drawn electronically after collecting housing information online via Qualtrics survey. Unlike previous years of visiting the Dean of Students Office for an ‘in-person’ lottery, Juniors, Lowers, and Uppers will receive their housing numbers electronically, according to Jennifer Elliott ’94 Dean of Students and Residential Life. As it has been done in previous years, students will then be sorted into preferred dorms based on housing numbers.

In an email to The Phillipian, Elliott wrote, “We are trying to make our housing process more efficient and less stressful, while maintaining the balance we have always sought to strike between student agency and faculty insight. We would like for students to have a voice in their housing preferences, and we would like to make sure that house counselors and cluster deans are able to build dorm spaces that are inclusive and welcoming.”

The current housing process has been built upon for many years, differing from time to time, to ensure that all students have a fair chance when choosing their future dorm.

“As a freshman dealing with the house lottery was pretty stressful and a little frustrating, but I got very lucky and ended up in my favorite and one of the nicest dorms. I think that the lottery system is very fair since it is a lottery; you just pick a number and it is completely random and unbiased,” said Michelle Koh ’17.

Natalie Warren ’18 said, “It’s very luck-based, which puts a lot of pressure on which number you pull and it can get a little dicey in terms of the selection process. In the end, if you’re lucky, it’s fair.”

“[However,] in an ideal world, everyone would get what they want, but ideal worlds don’t necessarily exist and aren’t necessarily possible. I feel like the lottery system we have now is the most sensical way of housing selection,” continued Warren.

In the meantime, Carter House will become the newly implemented All-Gender dorm for the 2017-18 school year, housing 4-5 residents. Other changes include Bancroft Hall reopening, and several small dormitories switching genders to promote gender balance between dorms.