WEB EXCLUSIVE: Students assess housing lottery

Every year students get nervous around March, and this year is no different. But students in this year’s housing lottery experience a change of roles – sophomores, not seniors, get first pick.

Rising juniors and seniors are placed at the end of the selection process, while rising sophomores pick from more residence hall options than in the past. Aston, Munson, Fulbright and Strong halls will all be sophomore-only buildings next year under new Residence Hall Association rules.

Sophomore will choose their rooms on March 11, and upperclassmen will choose March 31. Students received their lottery numbers last week.

CLLC officials said last month GW changes the rules to discourage upperclassmen from pulling underclassmen into a room and then dropping out, and to decrease the number of sophomores on the waiting list.

Some rising juniors said the rule change is unfair and may hurt their chances to find hosing on campus.

“I am worried that we’re going to get less preferable housing,” said sophomore Rudy Alvarez. “We are the last pick and the upcoming sophomores get the nicer options.”

Other sophomores said they may actually receive worse housing than they have this year.

“The reason I am worried about the housing lottery is because I have such a wonderful place this year,” said sophomore Kate Gorney, who lives in The Dakota. “There’s only one other place on campus that could compare, and I don’t think I’ll get it.”

Gorney said that with her lottery number, 1,344, she may opt for an
off-campus apartment.

The University offers about 2,450 beds in the housing lottery, said Andrew Sonn, director of housing services. Last year, lottery numbers were as high as 3,860, according to the RHA Web site.

Sophomores with the highest lottery numbers said they are considering living off campus to avoid the money and hassle.

“If I get a building I don’t like and it is more expensive than living off campus, then I will consider it,” said Alvarez, who has number 1,014.

While the upcoming housing lottery has removed Francis Scott Key Hall from the undergraduate lottery, upperclassmen can choose to live in 2109 F St. and Columbia Plaza.

Under new rules, students sign their housing agreements after selecting rooms at the lottery. This will prevent upperclassmen from giving their numbers to underclassmen.

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