The housing office has implemented several changes to this year’s general housing process in an attempt to have a more friendship-based system.
“The basic motivator was through the Student Assembly. They wanted the general housing selection to be about friends, and they proposed quite a few of the changes,” said Kristen Loparco, undergraduate housing coordinator. “We had a team of students, staff and IT work together based off of the resolution.”
Student block size — the amount of students who can sign up to live together — has been increased from five to six. Another difference is that each block can select any room in an entire building rather than from a limited section of a floor.
There is also a newly available option of mixed-gender rooming and blocking, according to Loparco.
“Despite the logistical floor planning challenges that mixed gender housing might pose, it helps create awareness for the fact that friendships [and] relationships between genders can be close but not sexually or romantically intimate,” Nicole Lee ’20 said. “I think that particularly those who identify as part of the LGBTQ community could feel more comfortable with such arrangements as well.”
Another key change for the upcoming year is the system for lottery time slot assignments. In the past, students automatically received an individual, randomized time slot upon applying for housing. This year, however, students are to decide on their blocks before hand, and each group is assigned one slot together after 3:00 p.m. on March 2.
“[The student assembly] was looking for something that would be more focused on friends blocking together, versus just blocking based on time-slots,” Loparco said.
Timothy Ng ’18 said the new system could potentially be better, as it seems “more fair” and “less unpredictable.”
“In the past sometimes people get kicked out of their group at the last moment because having a smaller group gives you more room choices, especially at the ‘nicer dorms,’” Ng said. “If you get a bad time slot for your group, there’s no way around it; friendships won’t get destroyed.”
Andy Choi ’20 agreed, saying that the system seems more “fair,” but also noted the potential setbacks of assigning fewer time slots.
“I think the previous system would have given me a better chance of getting a good time slot, since there are more to choose from in a block, but this one gives everyone a fair chance,” Choi said.