The Drawbacks of Roomdraw: Housing process needs reform

By E. Walburg
Elm Staff Writer

I think I can speak for most people when I say the roomdraw process here at Washington College is incredibly flawed. The aggravating mess of this year’s process epitomizes the fact perfectly. All of the Western Shore suites were gone by about number 50, seniors weren’t even getting suites with common rooms in Chester or Sassafras, and freshmen were complaining about getting bad junior-status numbers.

This must change.

I have a few ideas for how to make this process much cleaner and—above all else—fair. If numbers are based on how many credits a student has, they must also be based on the year the student intends to graduate. This means juniors with senior-status will no longer steal amazing numbers away from legitimate seniors, an eerie and suspicious consistency I’ve seen for the last four years (I know of at least four instances in which juniors received the numbers 1, 2 and 11 in three different years). Students graduating in three years would be a different case, since those juniors would most likely be considered seniors anyway. This will give credit back to the concept of seniority, something this college seems to have forgotten.

Secondly, I would factor in GPA. While also grouping students together based on credit, there should be additional groups based on GPA. Legitimate seniors with a 3.5-4.0 could be the first students randomly assigned numbers, say, 1-75 (or however many of the students there are). Then the group of those with a 3.0-3.4 could be next and so on and so forth. This makes considerably more sense than the current system. Someone on academic probation should not be able to get into Western Shore or other priority-housing. The college wants to get rid of its “party-school” reputation anyway, so how does allowing those students who don’t care or can’t handle themselves to take priority-housing help? Adding GPA to the mix would add incentive for students to try harder, since they would actually be rewarded for doing something well.

This brings me to my third point: the sororities, mainly because they skew the 3:2 girl-to-boy ratio. I understand the sororities do philanthropic deeds for the community, but this campus is too small to show them preferential treatment. And let’s be honest. This college isn’t exactly known for its sororities anyway.

The sororities were allegedly kicked out of Minta Martin for trashing the place and being loud and obnoxious, so they were then placed in Western Shore. Interesting. (The sorority leaders and the college administration will, of course, deny this, but most people think this is the case).

If the point of a sorority is to be with its sisters, why not buy a house off-campus, which would allow them to have more people live together than a suite that only holds four? This campus isn’t that big; it would be a short walk and an even shorter drive to and from campus.

The sororities also allow sophomore members into Western Shore when there is an alleged strict campus policy of not letting sophomores into Western Shore.

Not only that, but this year there has been such an influx of members that they have pushed out of their assigned housing and into other buildings. It’s great that they are becoming so popular, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of other students.

I honestly do not have a problem with the sororities, I just ask that they are given the same treatment as the rest of campus.

The final point I have to talk about is the new Kent Crossing housing situation. I think it is a good idea to bring in some honor-housing, but the execution is all wrong. No upperclassman is willingly going to put him or herself in a double if he or she do not have to, no matter what the ammenities are. Not only that, but the path to Kent Crossing is still creepy and, with all of the theft and attacks going on, dangerous. It is unnecessary to make a parking lot for a place so close to campus. There should be an actual path leading to the buildings, and one that is heavily patrolled.

My overall point, dear readers, is that something must change and we must be the ones to do it. If enough students appeal to the Housing Department for change, it will inevitably happen, especially if the college is here for the students, as it claims it is. It may be too late to help out the seniors who were jipped this year, but it will make things far more fair for future generations.

March 25, 2011
Volume LXXXI Issue 19

One thought on “The Drawbacks of Roomdraw: Housing process needs reform

  1. Amen to those who agree that the current room selection process is “flawed”. The college polled students as to how the selection process could be changed. 3 options were given: 1: by GPA, 2: random, 3: a combination of both. Apparently random won. Yet the question still remains how upcoming seniors with GPAs of 3.0 and higher
    drew numbers in the 300s. This directly affects my child and her roomates. A non-refundable room deposit was given. But because of the unacceptable housing assignment we are looking to move off-campus which incurs an additional security deposit.
    Hopefully things will change so that those students busting their butt and taking their education seriously will be given first consideration.

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