An Analysis Of Why Woodbridge Went So Fast This Year
Written by Youngweon Lee
Bwog’s resident housing expert/complainer Youngweon explains why she thinks Woodbridge was chosen so quickly during the housing lottery this year.
According to our housing coverage liveblog from this year, the cutoff for Woodbridge this year was 20/911. In other words, all Woodbridge suites, even the low-demand ones, were completely gone by the first week of housing selection. This is the fastest that Woodbridge has been snatched up for as far as our records go (2014). Here is the cutoff history for Woodbridge (all of Woodbridge, so these numbers are for low-demand suites) for the last few years:
2017-2018: 20/2820 (First year of standardized upperclassmen housing prices)
Never in recent memory has Woodbridge had a cutoff of lower than 20/mid-1000s. Last year, when upperclassmen housing prices were standardized, the cutoff was 20/2820, meaning that any junior duo who wanted a Woodbridge suite probably got it. Even in the years before, if you were a junior duo with a lottery number any less shitty than mine (20/2868), you could get it. This year, however, even juniors with lottery numbers in the 800s were worried, and rightly so, with the low-demand cutoff turning out to be 20/911.
So, why did this happen? A common theory is that EC’s lack of functional kitchens for next year drove a lot of seniors to Woodbridge, but that doesn’t make sense. Only housing groups of two people can pick into Woodbridge, and the news about EC kitchens broke after housing registration. Housing groups looking to live in EC would be groups of 4, 5, or 6, with maybe a few duos looking at the 2-person flats. The kitchen situation also seemingly didn’t deter many rising senior groups from picking into EC anyway; according to our liveblog from the first day, most EC suites (except 17 5-person suites) were gone by the first day. The fact that there were any EC suites left at all is unusual, but otherwise, this more or less lines up with the cutoff history; seniors with not horrible lottery numbers always take most, if not all, of EC. In addition, it seemed like 1/3 of the groups didn’t know about the kitchen situation, 1/3 didn’t care, and 1/3 were disgruntled but didn’t care enough to regroup.
Before I even move onto senior regroup, the high demand Woodbridge suites went a little faster than normal this year. The cutoff, according to our liveblog, was 30/2012, compared to 30/2503 and 30/2892 from the two previous years. It’s not a sudden change, however; it looks more like a gradual increase in demand. One explanation could be that Woodbridge used to be in the most expensive tier of dorms before the standardization. Though the private kitchen and bathroom setup is hard to beat, and is probably the reason that it was in the highest tier, the facilities aren’t exactly nice and new; the elevator is very slow, the carpets in the rooms are ugly, and the building is old and worn in general. The combination would have made it a less desirable dorm in the past. This cutoff isn’t necessarily abnormal, though; a difference of 300-500 in lottery number amounts to only a few 2-person groups.
Senior regroup saw a surge in popularity for Woodbridge suites. It makes sense; it’s easy to regroup into groups of 2 from groups of 4 or 6, and Woodbridge and Watt are both good options for seniors who were looking for a kitchen in EC or Ruggles. The senior regroup helped speed Woodbridge along while nervous juniors watched in horror. Early in the junior selections, low-demand Woodbridge suites, mostly the I line, began being chosen. It looks like the cutoff for medium-demand was around 20/291-ish, according to our liveblog. This is similar to last year (20/157) and a huge plummet from the year before (20/752). When medium-demand suites were gone, about a third of the low-demand suites were already gone too.
When junior selection picked up on the third day, there were a lot of Woodbridge and Watt suites being chosen. The Watt cutoff was significantly lower than last year as well, and the remaining junior pairs (including myself) went to Nussbaum. When junior selection ended, there was an unusually high ratio of juniors in Nussbaum; from a rough estimate, I’d say about a third of the building was already taken before sophomores started picking.
From all of this, my verdict is this: at the end of the day, there were just a lot of juniors who were in pairs of two. Even though it might be instinctive to jump to the conclusion that Woodbridge and Watt went unusually fast because of the EC kitchen situation, if you look at the numbers, the cutoff for the high and medium-demand Woodbridge suites weren’t that different from last year. You could attribute the stark difference in the medium-demand cutoff from two years ago to senior regroup to a certain extent, but it’s really during junior selection that the remaining 12 low-demand suites (after medium-demands were gone) got snatched up at a record speed.
Even after Woodbridge and Watt were all taken, Nussbaum doubles went pretty fast. By the end of day 4 (end of junior selection, beginning of sophomore selection), WTDs with private bathrooms were all gone, and there were only 3 doubles with private bathrooms left. Most doubles with semi-private bathrooms and even some regular doubles were taken. Since the last group that chose on that way was somewhere around 10/288, it’s fair to conclude that most of these Nuss doubles were taken by unfortunate juniors (like me!). That’s just an unusually high number of juniors choosing into doubles.
Anyway, this entire post is definitely not an excuse for me to write another rant about not getting a suite in Woodbridge.
Woodbridge via Bwog Archives, sad 20/807 via Youngweon Lee
Tags: columbia housing hates me, i really just spent 3 hours writing this post wow, next year i will live in woodbridge just you see, people in my year were really just too lazy to make real groups lol