Last year, I wrote an article about the new room draw process.
In the article, I argued that the distribution of greenway was unfair to seniors and would push first years to opt out or choose housing they didn’t want (namely, the Hill and Val). While most seniors were happy with their living arrangements, juniors and sophomores suffered. Those who wanted Greenway and were on top of their class, got it and everyone scrambled to find free rooms in the other dorms. I also know more first-years than usual decided to opt-out. I also know of one room draw group that lives off-campus because they ran out of space. Room Draw wasn’t as catastrophic as I thought it would be, but it wasn’t pleasant.
As someone who lives in Greenway, there are definitely pluses and minuses to the dorm. For one thing, the rooms are small…if you have a single. Suites and doubles tended to have reasonably sized rooms, but singles were around 120 square feet. Also, the heat was non-existent for the first months of winter. We had to call the control center and ask them to raise the heat and check for drafts. Common spaces are lovely and the games are great, but the whole space feels a bit overdone. Did we really need three flat screen television sets in one building instead of installing more than one water cooler? Lastly, the location was great after we got access to all the back doors to the adjacent academic buildings. The construction has separated us from campus and made the quick trip to Keefe a trek. Regardless, I’m glad with my room and the people on my floor. I also got to attend all floor parties in Greenway D and it was great to see that kind of community in Amherst.
This week, many students chose rooms for next semester. I found out today that students on top of the junior class only had Greenway, Val, the Hill and Moore as options. Everywhere else was full or sectioned off for doubles, suites or accessible housing. If you weren’t in a group of two or four, the multi-person living spaces were not open to you. This is heartbreaking for many students, particularly sophomores who choose tomorrow. Best of luck to all of you.
As I said before, last year’s room draw wasn’t catastrophic. People are ultimately happy with where they are living. Even though, I do think that the lack of space shows that we need to expand our living spaces. Whether that means turning Merrill into a dorm or admitting less students, I don’t know. This is just food for thought…I guess.