Guide to Special Room Draw


Sofiia Zaruchenko

From left: Kendall Yim `24, Maria Zhu `23, and Trinisa Fung `23 live together in the Gates tower.

Molly Wilcoxson, Staff Writer

With Special Room Draw (SRD) applications due today, it may be time to do some last-minute research into possible opinions available throughout campus. Luckily for you and your prospective roommates, the S&B has highlighted four of the different SRD options at Grinnell.

SRD is a process used to determine who lives in some of the more unique housing in the Grinnell dorms, such as larger triples, quads, co-ops or student apartments. It functions by awarding points to students based on their level of seniority. Each semester completed is worth one point. For example, if four first-semester first years apply for a room, then they are awarded four points; if four first-semester fourth years apply, they receive 28. The room goes to the group with the highest total point value, prioritizing groups with the greatest total seniority first. In order to secure a SRD room, it is important to be able to get a group together, and if you want to take an extra step to better your chances at your top choice room, find friends who are upperclassmen to raise the group point total. The application requests one student to be a designated coordinator for communications related to the application, as well as the names and years for all students in a group wishing to apply.

Dennis Perkins, assistant dean of residence life and student conduct, said that the process for SRD has changed this year with the award system functioning entirely online.

“The person in the position before me would literally print out all of the information and go through oneby-one,” said Perkins. “For us, [this] makes it a lot easier.”

Options for SRD are scattered around campus and are most commonly triples or quad dorms that offer ample space for groups of people. Perkins said that Cowles Hall, located on North Campus, has the highest concentration of SRD dorms. Cowles is home to five student apartments that can house a maxi- mum of seven people. The Cowles apartments are available in the SRD, and Perkins said that they are normally of the highest demand.

On the third floor of Cowles are quad dorms, which have a common room, four single dorms and a bathroom. Sadie Staker `24 and her three roommates currently live in one of the four quads.

“I like having the privacy of each single, but also having a common space for everyone,” she said. “It’s like the best of both worlds.” Staker recommends this dorm for people interested in rooming with three of their friends.

Also located on North Campus are the Gates Hall tower rooms. Gates Tower’s fourth floor is closed off for a group of up to five residents. In the space, there are three common rooms, a bathroom, one double room and three single rooms. One common room looks out over Mac field.

“The actual dorms are quite small compared to the common rooms,” said current resident Maria Zhu `23. “The singles are really small.”

Trinisa Fung `23, also living on Gates Hall fourth floor, said that she appreciated the privacy the floor offers as well as the quietness of the dorm. However, she and her roommates disliked having to climb four flights of stairs daily. “Overall, the trek up here is not the greatest for our leg health,” she said.

On the other end of campus is a SRD triple located on the first floor of James Hall. The triple has both a double and a single room as well as a bathroom for all three residents to share.

Abigail Davison `26, currently living in the triple, said that she likes the bathroom and extra space provided, but living in a triple dorm during her first year has been more chaotic than she expected, as she had anticipated living in a traditional two-person room.

Still, she recommends this space “if you’re like, ‘oh my goodness, I would love to live with my two good friends, have a bathroom and live in South.’”

This is not the only triple available on South Campus; located on all three floors of Read Hall are triple dorms or varying sizes. Henry Coen `25 currently lives in one which has three single rooms, two of which are smaller in size.

“It’s a good mix of being with roommates and friends, but also having your own space,” said Coen.

All options for the SRD are available on Grinnell College’s website on the Special Room Draw page.