A “necessary explanation” of the housing process

Naveed Islam

Do you know where you want to live next year? Are you flabbergasted by the random string of digits they call your lottery number? Have you been asking upperclassmen for advice on how to navigate the housing selection process?

You needn’t be confused any longer, dear reader. The Residence Life Committee of LUCC, in all its infinite wisdom, has sent the information directly to your email inbox, and will host helpful Q&A sessions in the coming weeks to answer all of your housing-related questions. Associate Dean of Students for Campus Life Amy Uecke and Housing Coordinator Wendy Osero sat down with The Lawrentian to provide an overview of the housing process.

“Students need to remember three things before they show up for housing selection,” said Uecke. “They need to have picked up their housing contract, their student account has to be paid and they need to be registered for classes next term.” This is done to ensure that students who apply for on-campus housing are enrolled at Lawrence for the upcoming year. Housing contracts may be picked up directly from the campus life office, at upcoming informational meetings, and may also be picked up during tabling sessions. Students planning to go abroad next year are also advised to attend these events since this process applies to them as well.

Lottery numbers are assigned to each student randomly and were made available on Voyager and the housing webpage March 31. “Senior numbers start with 2, junior numbers begin with 3 and sophomore numbers start with 4,” said Osero, “it then goes from 001 to 500. So the lower your number the better your chances of getting the room you want.” Like in golf!

Current freshmen are asked to be flexible with their plans for next year and prepare multiple options for their living situation before committing to a decision. If you have your heart set on getting a double in Ormsby or a single in Trever, start making other plans just in case those fall through. Lottery numbers are averaged if you wish to live in a suite, quad or triple, but only the best number is considered if you would like to be living in a double.

If you’re interested in living in a house next year you may choose to come up with an idea for a theme house, or live in one of the formal group houses. “Formal group houses have a three-year compact,” said Uecke, “Nine houses are currently up for renewal and the compact for two houses has expired. The review process is a routine thing that allows us to see how they’re doing.”

The two houses whose compacts have expired will have to re-apply alongside students who wish to live in a theme house. Theme houses have one-year contracts. The SigEp and Swing Houses are examples of formal group houses, while the Spanish House on 217 N. Union and the Meditation and Mindfulness House on 203 N Union both qualify as theme houses.

“Students are free to come up with themes if they want to live together in the other houses,” said Uecke. These themes could range from a common interest in “Dungeons & Dragons” to a shared love of languages. An information session on formal group houses will be held May 2. The decision to allocate the number of theme houses is made by LUCC. They are also required to leave certain houses open for general student housing, such as Rosemary House on 218 S. Lawe.

“That is an option for students who don’t want to join a formal group or live in a theme house,” said Uecke. “Students will be able to pick rooms in these houses during the single or double selection nights.”

Students may also choose to stay in the same dorm they currently live in, or even to keep the same roommate. There are exceptions to this rule: People living in Hiett Hall, Brokaw Hall, small residences, lounges or administrative spaces, or a “double single,” will not be allowed to squat. Contrary to popular belief, students living in singles that do not overlap with the aforementioned exception region of the Squatting Venn-diagram can also squat. “The idea is to build community,” said Uecke. “If you like living with your roommate or living in the same dorm, squatting gives you the option of staying right where you are. Because if you’re squatting, chances are you like living there.”

In addition, the Campus Life department will host an information session for students who are interested in living with a Japanese roommate from Lawrence’s exchange program with Waseda University. “It’s a great experience from what we have heard back,” said Uecke. “Students who wish to learn about another culture — and are prepared to share some of their own — are encouraged to choose the Waseda roommate option.”

Future residents in the Class of 2014 will be given the opportunity to live with a Japanese roommate but upperclassmen from all cultural backgrounds are allowed to apply as well. “The roommate acts as a social connection for the Waseda students,” said Uecke. “Their role in shaping this experience for Waseda residents is as important as the staff or student mentors.”

After paying your bill, registering for classes and picking up your housing contract you will attend singles, doubles or group living housing selection sessions. Singles and doubles selections will take place in the Hurvis and Mead Witter Rooms, while quad, suite and triple selections will be held on the fourth floor of the Campus Center.

There will be easels displaying the floor plans of the dorms with available on-campus housing. Each room will be marked with a green, red or yellow dot. Green means that the room is being held for freshmen, red says that it has already been taken and yellow means that it is reserved for administrative purposes such as medical emergencies or for your floor RLA.

Members of the LUCC Residence Life Committee will call out lottery numbers by ranges and ask you to line up by the hall of your interest. There, a Residence Life Committee member will arrange you in the line by your lottery number to make sure the process goes fairly and smoothly. A Residence Hall Director will be on hand to take your housing contract and confirm your living plans for the upcoming year.

This may sound confusing, but the Residence Life Committee’s helpful Q&A sessions will be able to answer questions specific to your housing needs. These dates are marked in the information document that has already been sent to student email inboxes. Good luck!