The 2012 housing lottery began on Tuesday, filling 377 beds in quint and quad units. Though not without standard amounts of drama and disappointment, the lottery went relatively smoothly, thanks in part to live updates from residential life over Twitter throughout the evening and the lottery instructions that were projected on a continuous loop behind the sign-up tables.
Daggett Lounge was packed when the event started at 6 p.m., but many students left after Lisa Rendall, associate director of housing operations, reminded the crowd that the quints lottery would take place first.
One hundred and five first years entered the quints lottery in 18 blocks. Twelve units were available between Stowe Hall and Stowe Inn. Rendall opened the quint lottery by reassuring students that their housing was guaranteed and that should they not secure a room in the quints lottery, they could regroup and enter subsequent lotteries.
The first block of 10 students took the two rooms on the fourth floor of Stowe Hall. Eric Goitia '15 explained that they made the choice based on "location, proximity to the dining hall, and the fact that the laundry room is on that floor."
The rest of the lottery went quickly, with minimal deliberating among blocks over the floor plans. Several blocks passed on their chance, and the last number called was 13, a group which took the remaining unit in Stowe Inn. The five remaining blocks prepared to enter other lotteries, and the quints lottery concluded 15 minutes ahead of schedule.
At 6:30 p.m. Chris Rossi, assistant director of residential life, surveyed the assembled students to make sure the first 10 blocks were present, before opening the quads lottery, populated mostly by rising seniors.
Rendall counseled everyone vying to live in Coles Tower to start thinking about whether they wanted sunlight in the afternoon or in the morning, warning that, "we spend a lot of time every year on that."
The first block—Vivaan Seth, Jackson Moniaga, Tyler Silver and Ben Hill-Lam, all rising seniors—opted for a Chamberlain Hall quad because "there's a lot of space, it's clean, and we don't have to share the bathroom," Moniaga said.
Students were quick to fill the top floors of Coles Tower. Peter Yen '13 said he was pleased with his apartment, adding that he would not "have to leave the building on weekends ,ever."
Pine Street Apartments were the last to go. Ten rising sophomore blocks that had lottery numbers in the 60s were able to secure rooms in Pine Street. Rendall noted that this pattern would have been unusual five or six years ago, when Pine Street was "all seniors."
As the proceedings continued, relative order reigned and the crowds were generally manageable. Rendall chalked this up to Twitter, which was used for the first time this year.
"Students came in with dinner plates because they'd been watching on Twitter and knew their number was up," she said. She said that there were only 65 people following ResLife on Twitter, but emphasized the fact that only one person per block really needed to be keeping track.
Rendall said the decision to project the lottery rules throughout the evening helped minimize confusion and avoid superfluous questions from latecomers.
Rendall reported that though some blocks passed or did not show up, every quad block that wanted to pick left the lottery with a bed for next year. The biggest anomaly she noted was that after the first block went to Chamberlain Hall, "another was not selected until 23." Typically those rooms go just as quickly as upper floor rooms in Coles Tower.
Next up is the triples lottery, which will take place on Sunday at 6 p.m.