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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Room Draw Makes Changes

Residence life made two major changes to housing policies and room draw, which will take place this Sunday, April 22.
“We did expand our gender-neutral housing,” said Andrea Conner, Dean of Students/Director of Residence Life and Orientation. “In addition to the 250 beds we had last year, we are adding a gender neutral floor in a sub-free building, James. So this year James 3rd will become both gender neutral and sub-free.”

In response to student frustration last year, the Room Draw number allocation was also restructured.

“Numbers are always randomly assigned, and in previous years students were first grouped by their class year, i.e., seniority, but that random number could be anything from 1 to 1,100 (the total number of students except graduating seniors). This year, to make it more consistent and a little bit more sensible, instead of having a rising senior with a room draw number of 700, we sorted all the students by seniority first so the low numbers all went to the rising seniors,” said Laura Gogg, technical assistant of Student Affairs.

This means that all rising seniors will have a number between 1 and 416; rising juniors will get between 417 and 746, etc. The new allocation of room draw number gives students a better sense of what their chances are in terms of getting a single or being able to choose a dorm in certain part of the campus.

It might be easier this year for upper classmen to get off-campus housing, however it’s not necessarily because of the potential big first year class. And despite the change, Gogg emphasized the difficult and complicated process that goes into arranging housing for a constantly changing student body.

“Sometimes we do not have as many people who want to move off, and we are also balancing how many students are going abroad and the number of transfer students, so there are several factors that we have to take into consideration,” said Gogg said.

Conner explained that off-campus housing may still be available, to give the administration some padding to make sure all students fit.

“If students are still interested in living off-campus, they can write to us and ask to be put on the list, since we may have the availability to let more people off-campus.” Conner said.

The number of students living off-campus is usually between 150 and 200.

“Right now we are at 146, with several declines coming in for offers that we sent. … We have a little bit flexibility,” said Gogg. “If someone is interested, they should let us know, and we can put them on the waitlist; right now there’s no one on the waitlist.”

Laura also advises students to contact her early if they are taking a leave of absence in the fall but are planning on returning to Grinnell in the spring. For current students that do not have a roommate, they can complete a form, and their names will be added to a spreadsheet with their information, which gets sent out to everyone that’s on the list.

“The most number we’ve had on the spreadsheet was 33, and right now we are down to 18, so it’s been really successful in helping students finding their future roomies,” Gogg said.

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