The Office of Residential Life and Learning (ResLife) announced changes to the housing lottery process through their website, and students will receive an email from the university explaining the details of the changes, according to Matt Austin, associate director for housing operations.
Austin said that the changes primarily aim to shorten the length of the housing selection process to as short as two weeks, compared to the previous system in which some students had to wait as long as 10 weeks to know their housing for the following academic year. The changes will also let the upperclassmen know ahead of time whether they will get on-campus housing or not.
Under the new lottery process, all students seeking on-campus housing, including sophomores, who are guaranteed housing, are required to apply for a lottery number to participate in the housing selection process, according to Austin. This also applies to rising seniors who already have their lottery numbers, according to the website. Austin said that sophomores who don’t apply for a housing lottery number won’t be removed from the housing selection process, but that not applying for a housing lottery number will adversely affect their housing lottery number assignment.
Austin explained that the introduction of this rule will help ResLife more easily envision the process of choosing housing and inform juniors and seniors in December whether or not they will get a space on campus. According to the website, all students will find out their lottery number or if they were waitlisted by Dec. 20.
“We are hoping that by this application process happening in December, that students will have more time to find something off-campus if they need to,” Austin said.
Austin noted that ResLife will inform rising seniors of their placement in relation to other rising seniors applying for a lottery number.
“If they are the last senior in the group and only 300 [seniors] have applied, they will know that there are 300 people on the list, instead of thinking there might be 1,500 people on the list,” Austin said.
Then students with lottery numbers will select their housing in March, except for those who plan to apply for a space in special-theme housing in early February, according to Austin. Another change is that Stratton, previously a dorm exclusively for seniors, will be an option for sophomores, with the singles converted into doubles.
Austin added that he has been in contact with a number of students since he proposed the changes at the Oct. 15 Tufts Community Union Senate meeting. He also said that there have been changes to the proposed plan. For example, the lottery number for a group will still be an average of lottery numbers of people in the group, instead of counting only the highest lottery number in the group. Students will have an option to enlist another student as their potential roommate so that the students who wish to room together will both have lottery numbers or wait list numbers, instead of one having a wait list number and the other having a lottery number.