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Survey Results Show Frosh ‘Content’ with Lottery Picks

By Jenny Zhang

The 2002 freshmen housing lottery questionnaire results showed that 98 percent of students were “content” with their housing situation, according to the Residential System Implementation Team.

After the orientation adjustment lottery, 74 percent of the freshmen were in their first choice dormitory, 19 percent were in their second choice, and 7 percent were in their third.

Freshmen filled out a questionnaire when they entered the summer housing lottery and again when they entered the adjustment lottery at the end of dormitory rush. The questionnaire dealt with the factors that were important to residence selection.

Lotteries ‘worked well’

The RSIT, which includes Anthony E. Gray, Denise A. Vallay, and Ricky A. Gresh, evaluated student satisfaction by using the term “content” to label those who either squatted or were reassigned in the Orientation adjustment lottery.

“This is a purely technical term; we don’t know anything about any other factors. I have no idea whether they are happy,” Gray said regarding classifying students as “content.”

According to this definition, 98 percent of the students were content.

Vallay contacted the remaining 2 percent of freshmen who were not reassigned although they requested three dormitories different from their current assignment.

“Five were reassigned, one turned down a reassignment offer, four are on a waiting list, and four didn’t request to move,” said Vallay.

“I think the lotteries, which were newly designed this year, seemed to have worked very well,” said Larry G. Benedict, dean for student life.

RSIT is in the process of analyzing and evaluating this year’s housing assignment process. In December, it will submit recommendations for next year’s process to Benedict and Robert P. Redwine, dean for undergraduate education.

Simmons among most popular

Dormitory preference was divided into three groups. The first cluster included the most popular dormitories that were ranked as first through third choices in the summer lottery. The second cluster were less in demand, and the third cluster had the least requests.

Simmons Hall, Burton-Conner, Macgregor House, and Baker House were included in the first cluster. Next House, East Campus, and New House were in the second, and Random Hall, Bexley Hall, and Senior House were in the third. McCormick did not fall into any of the three groups because all residents participate in residence-based advising.

Except for the addition of Simmons, these results were consistent with last years’ results.

“Of course it’s disappointing ... we would love to see more freshmen interested in living here,” said Henry Jenkins, housemaster of Senior House. “However, we have the distinct challenge of communicating long-distance what Senior House is really like, because we’re not as mainstream as some of the other dorms.”

The results of the questionnaire showed that the most important factors in residence selection were location, building facilities/services, and social atmosphere. Cost, special programs, and health/allergy concerns were less important according to the Orientation adjustment lottery results.

Housing lottery process changed

This year the process of dormitory selection was quite different from last year. Incoming freshmen ranked all the dormitories they were eligible for online or by mail over the summer and were assigned to dormitories and rooms before they arrived on campus.

During Orientation, they entered the Orientation adjustment lottery to request either to stay where they were or move. Dormitory governments then readjusted room assignments according to this information.

FSILG rush began three weeks later, although freshmen pledges will not be able to move off campus until next year.

Last year, freshmen were assigned temporary rooms during the summer. FSILG and dormitory rush took place during Orientation, and at the end of that freshmen either moved into a FSILG or entered the lottery for a dormitory assignment.

Kevin R. Lang contributed to the reporting of this story.