REHS creates room draw for triples


A new triples-only room draw intended to help streamline the yearly allocation of housing will be available ahead of regular room draw this year. Residential Education and Housing Services (REHS) created this option for students to consider when selecting housing for the 2014-2015 school year.

According to Director of REHS Chad Meyers, for students who want to live in a triple or have a high room draw number this additional session will allow them to select a triple room prior to regular room draw. Just like regular room draw, the order will be indicated by draw number.

Triples are available in many Occidental residence halls, including Bell-Young, Erdman, Haines, Newcomb, Pauley and Wylie. Triple Room Draw for the Class of 2015 will occur on March 24 from 6:30-7pm in Berkus Courtyard; Class of 2016 and 2017 will combine for the draw on March 27 from 7pm-11pm in the Berkus Courtyard.

Myers believes that on a campus like Occidental, there has to be an understanding that triple rooms are a reality, especially for students with room draw numbers higher than 250. Knowing that it is a difficult process for students to wait as others ahead of them select their rooms, REHS sought to make the room draw process easier for students who want or might need to live in triples. REHS came up with the idea for a separate room draw after administering a survey last fall to students who live or had lived in triples to understand what their on-campus living environment was like.

“We got a lot of feedback [from] students saying that they really enjoyed the triple experience, that they made new friendships. Price was also a reason that people stayed in triples,” Associate Director of Housing Services Michelle Saldaña said.

After analyzing these surveys in January, REHS met with a variety of administrative boards to discuss ways to help students. Originally, REHS planned to create a section of their website to educate incoming first-years about living in a triple, since, according to Myers, 50 percent of first-year housing is triples. However, with one-third of upper division housing comprised of triples, REHS realized they needed to expand the scope of this education to the rest of the student population. After devising plans for Triple Room Draw, REHS met with the Associated Students of Occidental College (ASOC) to get a student response. Positive feedback from the student senate was the final step in making Triple Room Draw a reality.

“We were trying to think of how we can make students with room draw numbers that might possibly get put into a triple get an easier pick of a room that they would want as a triple, rather than get whatever is left,” Myers said.

Both Myers and Saldaña believe that the addition to the room draw process will make regular room draw go more smoothly.

“I really hope every triple goes in triple room draw, so that people who want a triple have one. This will make it less stressful for everyone so that people who are looking for doubles or singles can rest somewhat easy knowing that the triples have already been filled,” Myers said.

Though Triple Room Draw is happening this year, REHS is not certain whether the new session will be a permanent change to the room draw process.

“If we have ten people show up, it is going to be great for those ten people, but is that really a great use of everyone’s time? We have RAs and student volunteers that help with room draw, and we want to respect their time. However, we have had a good turn out to info sessions, so we feel good about this change,” Saldaña said.

With room draw approaching, some students have already expressed interest in the new option.

“Two of my friends and I are interested in Triple Room Draw because we all have pretty bad draw numbers, but we honestly don’t even know what the process is. It is good to know that it is an option for us, though,” undeclared Mark Maloney (sophomore) said.

Information sessions regarding Triple Room Draw will occur tomorrow March 20, and Thursday March 27.

Correction: The original article reported the Triple Room Draw as occurring 30 minutes prior to the regular room draw. The correct Triple Room Draw dates are now cited in the article and the correction has been made. The Weekly apologizes for the confusion with the original printing.