The Shaft takes on Barnard housing—Bare necessities, below!
Take a deep breath, Barnard housing is rather straightforward. Though it’s not a walk in the park—we are in New York City, after all—anyone can survive Room Selection with sanity, dignity, and even friends.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, let us know in the comments below.
While the extensive Room Selection website is definitely worth perusing, here’s a quick digest of the 2013 process:
So, what’s new this time around?
1) All Barnard students planning to live in BC or CU housingmust register for Room Selection by Wednesday, March 13 at 1 p.m.
Though RA pull-ins, ODS placements, etc., were able to skip in the past, everyone is required to complete registration this year. Why?
- ResLife needs your preferences to implement the new Service and Support Animal Policy.
- You must select whether to make your full name, first name and last initial, or neither visible to other students on the interactive floorplans after you pick. If you plan to pick into a corridor, this (new!) feature can help you find (or avoid) your friends.
2) All corner rooms in Plimpton are doubles. [floor plans]
In prior years, every Plimpton suite was a 5-person suite, all singles. This change, announced in the fall to maximize available beds, has two major consequences:
- This makes 5-person suites rarer. While there are 12 5-person, all-singles suites on the A and B lines of 620, we can expect these to fill up on Senior Day. Beyond that, there are only 21 5-person suites with at least one double scattered around 600, 616, 620, 110, and Cathedral Gardens. Rising sophomores take note: Don’t count on any leftover 5-person suites come your selection day.
- Go big or go with strangers. Although most suites in Plimpton will be for 6-person groups (4 singles and 1 double), 12 suites will be broken up in advance for selection by a group of 4 (the four singles) and a group of 2 (the double). If you’re a rising senior (or potentially rising junior) group looking for all singles and willing to live with new people, these are nice spaces. For rising juniors and sophomores, the corner doubles are a good chance to get into a suite-style apartment with a full kitchen.
3) Only 3-, 2-, and 1-person groups can pick into Sulz Tower.
While corridor-style rooms in Hewitt and Elliot can be selected by groups of 1 to 4 people, the number is down to 1 to 3 people in Tower floors to expand options for small groups. What does this mean?
- Rising seniors going in alone have a pretty decent chance of grabbing one of these rooms instead of pricy, yet private, 110 studio singles or conventional Hewitt singles.
- Though the singles are restricted to seniors only, rising juniors and lucky rising sophomores have a shot at the corner doubles (with generally awesome views of campus or downtown).
4) Elliott, 616, and 620 will again be completely closed for the majority of Winter Break. If you are planning to stay over, plan to borrow a friend’s bed or avoid selecting into these residence halls.
I’m a rising sophomore and/or am otherwise new to this Room Selection thing. What’s up?
What is this General Selection vs. Suite Selection nonsense?
- Those titles are irrelevant for Barnard selection. Whether you are flying solo or in a group of up to six people, you will select on one of the three Selection Days. When you pick is determined by the best number and class years in your group. Each student receives a unique lottery number (randomly generated, descending from rising seniors to rising sophomores) with an associated appointment time. In your group, you show up at the time of the best lottery number holder. If you are grouped with people in different class years, you pick on the Selection day of the youngest class year in the group and then all mixed-year groups pick first based on best lottery numbers.
Senior Day (April 5) = All senior groups
Junior Day (April 9) = Junior groups with senior(s), then all junior groups
Sophomore Day (April 12) = Sophomore groups with senior(s), then sophomore groups with junior(s), and then all sophomores groups
But when should I choose my group size?
- You can change your group size until you select your bed, so it’s really up to you and you can change sizes on the fly. So that you can make educated guesses, after Registration ends (register by 1 p.m. on March 13!), a chart will go live in the Housing portal displaying how many groups of each size there are and how many suites/blocks are available for each size group.
- One last thing: the biggest groups are 6 people and the smallest groups are 1 person. Floor plans are deceptive since there are a few suites with more than 6 beds (in 110, 600, and Elliot). These are split up before Selection into clusters of 4 or fewer beds.
What is the Guaranteed Assignment List?
- If you haven’t heard, Barnard housing is at capacity. While everyone who gets a lottery number is ultimately guaranteed a room on campus, about 1/4 to 1/5 of the rising sophomore class will not select that room for themselves. Instead, you will be on the Guaranteed Assignment List and will be notified of your room in August.
- As someone who was in that boat, it really can be for the best. You will be assigned to spaces originally selected by mostly rising seniors and juniors (who may cancel their housing in order to move off-campus, go study abroad, etc.) and/or newly acquired spaces.
So, what should I do now?
- FORM AN EVEN NUMBERED GROUP
- There are just very few three or five person options.
- For rising sophomores, the main available options are often in 600, 110, or Hewitt, so you are looking at mostly groups of 6 or groups of 1 to 4.
- There are many doubles across Barnard housing and singles can be hot commodities. If possible, try to find someone who you are willing to be roommates with.
- There are only so many suites for each group size. For example, once all 6-person suites are filled, all remaining 6-person groups will need to break apart. It’s better to have a buddy to split off with than to be the odd man out.
- If all spaces fill before you can select a room, you can specify on the Guaranteed Assignments List form that you want to live with [name] and ResLife will try to place you with or near each other, contingent on cancellations.
- If you want to live with your bestie from CC or SEAS, pull ‘em in.
- Prepare for your break-up
- So that you can enter Room Selection confident that you will end up living with familiar faces, go in with a game plan about how to split up if the situation arises (see FORM AN EVEN NUMBERED GROUP…).
Once you register, forget about Room Selection until after spring break. In two weeks, I will be back with quick residence hall reviews and predictions.
Please share any questions and comments below!
Jennifer Fearon is the SGA Housing Advisory Board Chair and a Spec Editorial Board member. She will be contributing to The Shaft to help demystify the Barnard housing process. She’s pretty pro.
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