Housing Lottery

Written by Levi Jubelt. Media by Steven Potter.

In the game of housing lottery, you win or you die. There is no middle ground. Okay that might be a little extreme, but participating in the housing lottery can sometimes feel that way. You and a friend or group of friends put all your hopes, dreams, and points into a residence and hope that you make it in. The whole process has created a wide range of opinions within the student body, both good and bad.

Photo from: http://tinyurl.com/krdpfaw
Photo from:

Each year students have to go through the stressful process of finding roommates, creating housing plans, backup plans, and backup backup plans as they prepare for the housing lottery. The current setup for the housing lottery uses points to place students in a residence hall. The amount of points a person gets is based off of the amount of credits earned, academic performance, and disciplinary record. You then put those points into your residence of choice and hope that you have the highest number of points or that you are lucky enough to be picked over the other people with the same amount. It’s a system that seeks to give those with good academics a boost while restricting those who are not in good standing with the college. This setup works to a certain extent, but there are many situations and stories that prove that it is a far from perfect system.

The student body is very diverse on their opinions and views on the housing lottery. Some have strong opinions while others are relatively indifferent. Bryn McKie shared her story and opinion on the subject, “Personally I hate the housing lottery. There are so many better ways to go about housing the students of Greenville College and this is one of the worst in my opinions…At many other schools, the choice goes by grade level. The super seniors get to choose first, then the seniors, and so on. That way, those who have been here longest get the best choices…I have been on both sides of the housing lottery. My sophomore year I had the privilege of living in a house…However, this year, I am stuck in Burritt as a junior after being beat out of Tenney/Kenney by sophomores because they had picked a better “lucky number”, then my roommate and I were passed up to be moved up to Upper Division and it was given, once again, to sophomores.” This is a common issue among many of the upper division eligible students. It is not the particular students who beat them that they have an issue with, it is the fact that underclassmen get to live in better housing than them.

Others have no real issue with the system and just take things as they are. Jacob Burrell shared his views on the matter, “I don’t have any problems with it. I think it makes the housing process as simple as possible, which isn’t very simple, but it is what it is.” It is certainly true that it is no simple matter to organize a fair system for housing. There will always be issues that can’t be fixed and compromises that must be made in order to make this the fairest system possible.

Photo by:Steven Potter
Photo by:Steven Potter

Since the housing lottery season is upon us it is time for students to rally their friends and points and shoot for their residence of choice. Whether you are a fan of the current system or not it does do its job fairly well. There will always be horror stories and problems associated with the housing lottery, but that’s because it’s not perfect. Nothing in this life is and sometimes we just have to accept that and take things as they are. So regardless of if you think the current state of the housing lottery is fair or not, at least we have the possibility and chance to live in different residence halls.


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