For someone who’s never technically been a part of room draw, I do know quite a bit about it. For those of you unfamiliar, room draw is the process that undergraduates go through in order to have housing for the upcoming school year. A multi part process, room draw tends to elicit fear and stress from its participants. However, having worked in the Office of Residential Life, and as DLT, I have gained some important knowledge that I would love to pass on to others. For this, I have created a ROOM DRAW SURVIVAL GUIDE listed below. Good luck!
- The Office of Residential Life isn’t out to get you. The number that you have received was created by a computer algorithm. We don’t sit around a circular table with all the names of the students and say “Ohhh, this one sent me a nasty email, let’s give them 333” or “This one was really super sweet, I’m feeling a 20.” When you fill out the online form that says you will be living on campus, you are entered into a computer system that piles everyones name together, and then randomly spits out a list. Unless you have won a priority number (say, going to Plenary and winning spot 7) your name has no weighted value within the computer’s system. So don’t worry! You aren’t on a “bad” list up in the office.
- Read Angie Sheet’s Emails. I know this one feels a bit self explanatory, but she includes the dates things happen. Even if you skim over the email pay attention to the dates things are due/happening. The last thing you want is to miss a day when you were supposed to be somewhere or do something.
- Ask upperclassman who had your number/around your number where they were able to live. Realistically room draw is a toss up and up to trends in social patterns. With that being said, you should still peak around to see who had close to your number and where they’re living now. Were they a rising sophomore with a 300 number but got an amazing room in Rock? Ask them how. Did they pair with upperclassman friends? Prepare ahead of time so they knew how to work the system? Figure out what they did (or didn’t do) and learn from it.
- Single Occupancy- Print out the room layouts. PRINT OUT THE ROOM LAYOUTS. Get a old binder, hole punch the layouts. Order the layouts from favorite to least favorite dorms. You will be going to choose a dorm before you choose a room, so make sure that the dorm you chose into has lots of rooms that you like in it- within reason of course. If you have the last number in you class and you’re trying for a single in Pem East I would highly encourage you to look elsewhere. At the front of your binder have two pieces of blank paper. Label one “Favorite Rooms Across Campus” and the second one “Favorite Rooms in (DORM YOU’VE DRAWN INTO).” Go through all the rooms on campus you think you would like to live in, and rank them. If you see a pattern, i.e. most of the rooms are in Merion, try to draw into Merion. Once you’ve been to dorm draw and have drawn into the dorm, find your adjusted priority number. Let’s say your adjusted priority number went from 234 to 29. Find 30 rooms and rank them 1 to 30. Put those on your second blank sheet of paper. When you go to room draw, cross out the rooms that get chosen before you. That way, you are able to follow along with the person leading room draw, and you’re able to get the best room out of the list you’ve made.
- Multiple Occupancy/Hall Groups Tips. Make sure you want to live with these people. It’s important because you’ll be seeing more of them. Figure out your adjusted priority numbers, and do the same advice as above. The only difference is now you need to talk about it with other people, and make compromises.
- RELAX- YOU WILL HAVE A ROOM! Regardless of what happens, you’re still a student at Bryn Mawr College, and you will be given a space here. Sure, you may be stuck in a closet room on Denbigh third, but it’s only for a year. The older you get, the more weight your numbers will be given, and the better rooms you will get.
Sending you love and well wishes!