Policy allows women to pre-select Mount Vernon

The Community Living and Learning Center will allow women to select space at the Mount Vernon campus before Saturday’s housing lottery, a change in the University’s original plans.

Linda Donnels, associate vice president and dean of students, said men will not be permitted to reserve rooms at Mount Vernon Saturday but can place themselves on a waiting list for space on the Foxhall Road campus after they reserve a Foggy Bottom room.

Donnels said the University’s Board of Trustees requested the changes.

“They wanted us to maximize the opportunities for women at Mount Vernon,” Donnels said. She said women who are interested in living on the women’s campus should get first priority.

The new policy reverses a University decision last month to allow men to choose Mount Vernon rooms in Saturday’s lottery.

University officials said in January they would house only men in the hall. After an outcry from residents of the all-women’s campus, they changed the policy to make the hall coed. Now, women will have first priority in the hall, which is comprised of mostly singles, and men will fill in the leftover spaces.

Women who want to live at Mount Vernon should arrive at J Street at 10 a.m., and will be given rooms based on lottery number, Donnels said.

At noon, the regular lottery begins with the calling of senior numbers and will continue late into the evening, as students select their housing for the 1999-2000 academic year.

Mike Walker, senior assistant dean of students, said this year’s lottery will be similar to the ones held in previous years. This year, lottery numbers range from one to 3,300 or above, Walker said. He said about 3,850 spaces are available on the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses.

Walker said about 2,400 students registered for this year’s lottery. Thirteen hundred of them are rising sophomores.

Residence Hall Association President Justin Lavella said he hopes confusion about the lottery is kept to a minimum.

“We held an information session and no one showed up,” Lavella said. “Hopefully that means that everyone is content and not too scared, but I doubt it.”

CLLC officials will begin calling junior numbers at 2 p.m., sophomore numbers of 2,500 or lower at 6 p.m. and numbers 2,500 or above at 9 p.m.

Numbers will be called in groups of 10. When a number is called, students will be taken through a series of tables where they will select their rooms.

“The most important thing to remember is that you need to know what building you want and what room sizes,” Lavella said.

Lavella said Guthridge, Kennedy Onassis, Munson and New halls probably will fill the fastest.

“Periodically, we will announce what halls or room sizes in halls are closed to keep students informed,” Lavella said.

One alternative to escape the chaos of the lottery is “Martha’s Marathon of Birthday Bargains” auction sponsored by the RHA.

“We usually auction off items such as weekend getaways, sports memorabilia, congressional items, restaurant gift certificates, etc.,” Lavella said. “The big ticket items are always the top 10 lottery slots.”

He said the top 10 slots usually sell for between $1,000 and $2,000.

“Unfortunately, the auction has a certain amount of elitism,” Lavella said. “It favors students of the higher end.”

This year, in an attempt to provide an opportunity for prime housing slots, the RHA will conduct a raffle for the first lottery slot. The RHA is selling tickets for $1 each or 15 tickets for $10. Proceeds from the auction and raffle go toward housing scholarships.

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