Section: Editorial

Staff Editorial: Tiered lottery would be fairer

Prospective students often imagine themselves living in certain residences when they come on tours or do an overnight stay with a student host, but students may go four years without living in their dream dorm or apartment. Where you live isn’t a trivial a matter — it affects everything from how happy you are, when you go to sleep and how far you are from your classes or favorite spot on campus.

In January, the Housing and Dining Committee sent out a survey to the student body asking whether all lottery point deductions should be removed, only division lottery point deductions should be removed or to maintain the lottery point deduction system currently in place. Although a decision has not been reached, other aspects of the lottery system should also be seriously reviewed in order to make the process as fair as possible.

Currently, with the exception of deductions after a student previously lives in division or theme housing, the lottery points within a given class are distributed totally at random. Although Housing and Residential Life may hope that the numbers eventually even out, often they do not, and some students will get a bad lottery number for three or four years, hopping from Gund to Mather while others may always be the lucky ones, living large as a sophomore in Manning.

A simple way to make the housing lottery more fair is to split up the lottery numbers per class into four tiers so that each year, a student will be randomly chosen to have their lottery number in a tier that they have not had a number in before. Then within that semi-random tier, the lottery number will be randomized. This way, at least some point in your Kenyon career you will get a number in the top 25 percent in your class.

Of course, the housing lottery can never be totally fair, due to the fact that some people are pulled up by utilizing their future roommate or housemate’s numbers and some choose the North Campus Apartments to live in senior year and thus are exempt from the housing lottery process. However, ResLife should do all that they can to try to give students as much of an equal college living experience as possible. Kenyon students come to Kenyon with the hopes that all aspects of their college career will be enjoyable — including their domestic sphere, which should not be ignored.


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