Many students have wondered how the College’s largest student body in recent history is going to be accommodated next year. Senior study carrels and single dorm rooms are some of the expected space shortages. To fairly assign these spaces, lottery systems similar to the general room draw took place on Sunday.
This is the first year that students were able to select their own carrels. In years past, rising seniors filled out an application in which they indicated which areas they preferred; options were limited to the four levels of the Andrews and Gault libraries.
This year, students were assigned a draw number and attended a selection event where they chose the specific carrel they wanted. This provided the opportunity for groups of friends to select carrels near each other, as Mark Christel, director of libraries, pointed out.
Additionally, approximately 55 new carrels will be added to the libraries for student use next year, bringing the total number of carrels to around 400. Some of the new carrel locations include the second floor of Andrews, the second floor of Gault, Andrews Lower 2, and Timken. Because of this addition, so far every student who wanted a study carrel has been accommodated.
The single dorm room selection procedures were changed this year because of the limited number of one-person dorm rooms on campus. In past years, residents filled out an application for a single and did not participate in the room draw lottery.
This year, singles were assigned based on the lottery numbers students received for regular room draw. They attended an event earlier this week, where, similar to the regular housing draw, they were able to select rooms in the order of their lottery numbers. No application was required to take part in the event, so students with the higher lottery numbers were in the best position to get a single.
Once all the available rooms were assigned, students who did not get a single could put their names on a waitlist. They were also encouraged to participate in the regular room draw this week.
At the regular room draw, only one big change was made from last year. Previously, a group of two students were able to select a triple with the intention of keeping the third spot empty, if space permitted. Similarly, one student could acquire a double room. This often occurred if one roommate would be gone for one semester but not both. This year, however, the room must be filled by the correct number of students. All future residents must be present at the time the room is chosen.
Off-campus housing is another area that has been discussed more this year than in the past. Very few students choose this option every year, and the few that do generally either are seniors or live in Wooster with their families.
One reason that off-campus housing is somewhat unpopular is that it has the potential to deduct from students’ financial aid packages. In working with students and the Financial Aid department, Krista Kronstein, director of residence life, has only encountered this to be a problem if students receive need-based aid. Other types of aid, such as merit scholarships, are not usually affected.
If a student does receive need-based aid, they are not discouraged from looking into off-campus housing. Rather, they are encouraged to reach out to Financial Aid as soon as possible in order to determine what it would mean for his or her individual package.