Room Draw Explained
Crowds of students line up in Mahan holding schedules with shaky hands. They’ve gathered to find out whether they will achieve the room they’ve been waiting for or not. At the end of every spring semester, students attend room draw. This event has been overseen by Assistant Dean of Student Life and Director of Residence Life Abbey Hardin for both this year and the previous year. This year it was held at 9:00 p.m. to make sure students in evening classes had the opportunity to attend.
After squatters (students with roommates keeping their current residence) go through room draw, double-single and single rooms are available to be reserved. The first group of students to attain these are managers. Displaced students go afterwards. Hardin said, “…If we were to get into a housing crunch and the space was needed, the only double single rooms that will be guaranteed are those on Stoddard second floor. So, in short, space permitting they will receive a double single room.” From there, students who have resided on campus the longest can draw for these rooms. They rummage through a bowl, select a number between one and 100 and the student with the lowest number gets to go first. “Students are assigned a time based on their housing selection and corresponding number of semesters on campus in order to prevent people from camping out in order to be first in line or a stampede trying to get to the front of the housing line to select a single room,” Hardin said. “It’s just more orderly. Plus, it’s completely unbiased.”
Even though changes to the event have been made to accommodate students, not everyone winds up with the room they want. Freshman elementary education major Gariel Pierce reported that she was waitlisted for her first choice of room and after being denied, she remained at room draw for her second choice. She was turned down again because she has attended Blackburn for only two semesters. When asked if room draw should be changed in some way to accommodate all students, she said, “I don’t believe it should be based on the number of semesters you’re here. I think it should be based on a first-come, first-serve basis.” She also related to the students who were displaced as a result of North Hall’s change to an all-male dorm and said, “Freshmen are basically displaced students too- they can’t go back to Jewell.”
Students who are waitlisted for single or double-single rooms do have an opportunity to figure out a housing situation. The second day of room draw allows these students to either find a roommate or figure out a backup plan. However, if the type of rooms the students were originally seeking become available, then they will be offered to those who are first on the list. Hardin mentioned that those who don’t like this process or want to offer changes to room draw can either contact her, their Student Senate representative, a Residence Life staff member or anyone on Student Life Committee.