Editorial: Just the luck of the Room Draw



The General Assembly recently conducted a survey on future policies for Residential Education and Housing Services (REHS) in regards to specific aspects of the 2013-2014 Room Draw. The first question of the survey asked how rooms  should be divided between the academic classes. The second question asked when seniors should be held financially liable for an on-campus room. In both questions, the plurality of responses chose to elect a continuation of the current Room Draw policies. So, for all the flack that ResEd receives for supposedly botching Room Draw year after year, students in the end should understand that, when given the choice to change that policy, they rightly voted to reenforce it. 

The first question proposed that room be allocated differently than simply the one-third per class per hall, suggesting that instead rooms be divided by either total seniority or no seniority at all. But both other options marginalize more than they remedy. In an all seniority system (Option 2), the sophomore class gets the bottom of the barrel. In a no seniority system (Option 3), the rising senior class that have worked to gain seniority have suddenly been stripped of it. So 181 of the 410 surveyed voted for continuation.

In reality, this was the best possible option, and students were right to choose it. Dividing the halls into thirds by reserving the same number of singles, doubles and triples for each class effectively creates three separate selections, completely exclusive of one another. Where the other options pits every student against each other for rooms, this option just has one competing within their class. And the statistics are simple, the odds are better.

Choosing this option is ideal for both alleviating room draw frustration and creating the most beneficial on-campus living situation. Three separate selections produce a couple of positives; one being priority placement for seniors, who may end up having to weigh their options between on and off-campus living. Holding that assumption true, the vacant slots for students down the selection ladder enables both a better living situation for non-seniors and a class-diverse housing environment.

Students must understand that ResEd’s agenda for room draw is one that the students, though quite critical towards, are already supporting. Yes, the process is messy, chaotic and communicated a bit ineffectively. But drawing based on seniority via three separate selections limits complaints and has been estimated, and proven, to be accepted by the student body. 

This editorial represents the collective opinion of the Occidental Weekly Editorial Board. Each week, the editorial board will publish its viewpoint on a matter relevant to the Occidental Community.

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