Room Draw desperately needs move to online interface

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Every year room draw sparks a huge conversation on campus. Every year students find at least one thing to complain about during the process. And every year nothing changes.

The task of room draw seems simple: get a number, get a roommate, get to Rangeview, get a room. But it is never that simple; in fact, room draw is a time consuming, stressful and complicated procedure that should be changed.

Last year Residential Education (ResEd) sent a campus wide survey regarding the procedure for room draw, and the results came out that students thought room draw should stay as it was.

But options presented in the survey did not go far enough in the steps necessary to make effective change.

Occidental should take a step into this century by putting room draw online like many colleges across the country, such as Whittier College or Princeton University, do. In fact, such a simple maneuver alleviates many of the problems students are having.

Room draw numbers would be assigned the same way as they are now, but the number would be attached to a time when the account would go live. At that time, students, from anywhere around the world, could sign up for a room.
After two minutes or so, the portal would close. If students miss their time, the same penalty would apply to them as if they did not show up to Rangeview: they choose last.

Students would sign up for their room and sign their roommate’s name into a box; then the roommate would go and select the same room and put the same roommate down, thus securing the room.

Through this method, students would no longer have to potentially miss hours of homework or other responsibilities sitting around in Rangeview (room draw is incredibly unpredictable even with ResEd tweeting and posting to their Facebook).

Furthermore, students could choose their rooms from anywhere in the world, so students abroad have a fair chance of getting a good room, and there would be no need for a proxy. Choosing to study abroad should not equate to a room draw death sentence.

Registration runs very smoothly online (with small hiccups in internet connection, which would not be a problem if only two or three people would sign up within a five minute window). Room draw could work very similarly and effectively by putting it online. Just as students stalk course counts to track the availability of classes, students would be able to monitor room availability as their time approached and could coordinate with their friends as needed.

This editorial represents the collective opinion of the Occidental Weekly Editorial Board. Each week, the editorial board will publish its viewpoint on a matter relevant to the Occidental Community.

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