Housingmaster: Sophomorically Seeking a Single

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Housing is a special time of year—after all, it’s a time when students have to critically think about things. If you need any advice beyond that which you received from the Core, you can ask us. After all, even though the liberal arts are the greatest pedagogical tool developed in human history, they don’t teach you the difference between lottery and priority numbers.

Q: Dear Bwog,

So I’m planning on applying for housing just as single person (personal reasons for not wanting a suite or entering with other peeps). I would really like a single by myself (don’t care which residence hall it’s in). So what selection plan am I supposed to do? Do I start selecting for a single on Feb 29th? What do I do for the lottery numbers and General Selection (wtf is that?)?

And also, I’m currently a freshman LOL. Although, I am fully aware of the danger of not entering Suite Selection.

I mean, I have a potential, backup midtown apartment plan with three high school buddies, but it’d probably be more expensive than Columbia housing even with the rent split 4 ways.

Would really appreciate some help with this. Thanks.



A: If I ever heard of a pie in the sky…but okay. Let’s talk sophomore singles. Your best best would have been the LLC, but that deadline is long gone. Your chance to snag a single in a desperate SIC, too, has passed. Straight talk, now.

You cannot be “fully aware of the danger of not entering Suite Selection,” or you would enter Suite Selection. Let me sketch this out for you: there is one dorm in which sophomores definitely have a chance at a single, and that dorm is Furnald, where there are 109 singles set aside for sophomores. There are just a few more than 2,000 students in your class—so you have a 5.5% chance of getting one of those.

Or so it would seem. You actually have less chance than that, which is where “numbers” come in. You, entering General Selection alone, will have a priority number of 10. Some sophomores who have tried for 47 Claremont with one junior, and who have dropped down from Suite to General Selection, will have an 11.4 average left over from their group. They will pick before even the luckiest lone sophomore, and they will take anywhere between a third and a half of those 109 singles. That leaves you in actuality with between a 2.7% and 3.4% chance of one of those singles. Last year the cutoff for a Furnald single was 10/170.*

You also have a slim possibility of landing a Wien single, but we wouldn’t recommend counting on that. Looking at the cutoff history, it’s fairly obvious that Wien is on an upward trend in popularity. A few years ago, and we would have said that Wien was your safety dorm, but last year not a single rising sophomore landed a Wien single. With Junior regroup influencing the whole mess this year, it’s a safe bet that Junior who would have previously been dropped into General Selection (and taking Wien singles) will now regroup and claim doubles somewhere (clearly they wanted to live with other people, after all). That’s all hypothetical, however.

So here is God’s honest truth: Housing sucks for sophomores. You will get a double. Whether it is in McBain, Nussbaum, or Wien, it will be so-so. Accordingly, go into Suite Selection with your rising sophomore friends. If you get an excellent lottery number, you have the option of dropping to General to try for the single. If not, you’ll have secured better, shaft-free doubles with somebody who is not a stranger. If you risk General Selection alone, there is at least a 96.6% chance that you will live with a stranger in one of the least desirable doubles on campus.

Alternatively, go live in that midtown apartment.

*The first number is the priority number, based on class year (10 for sophomores, 20 for juniors, 30 for seniors). The second is the lottery number, which is randomly generated, and between 1 and 3000. Numbers work like this: you receive a lottery number. Room selection takes place in order of priority number, then lottery number. Seniors, with priority number 30, go first, from 1 to 3000. Then go groups between 20 and 30, then 20, then between 20 and 10. After that, the 10s go.

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  1. Anonymous

    Let's get this shit started.


  2. Anonymous

    Keep in mind that if you submit your form super early and tell your advisor that you NEED a single for some reason, you'll probably be able to switch into the LLC for a single at some point in the semester.

  3. 10/3000  

    Don't you lose your guaranteed housing if you move off-campus? That seems like it would be a bad thing to do while only a sophomore.

    ...doubles can't be that bad, can they?

  4. Anonymous  

    Why didn't we have Junior Regroup!!! WHY!!!!!

  5. Anonymous  

    I was in your shoes two years ago. I absolutely cannot live in a double because I am the lightest sleeper ever and sleep at very odd hours. Moreover, I highly dislike involuntary celibacy.. It is much more difficult to persuade a girl into sitting on ur schlong when you must disclose your ulterior motives in advance... that is to say, you lose all plausible deniability when you deliberately sexile your roommate... then she starts thinking too much.

    Anyway, you CANNOT GET A SINGLE AS A RISING SOPHOMORE. Abandon all hope. Your ONLY choice is to switch into Wien at the very start of the year or do everything you can to re-route your housing situation to the LLC program.

    That said, there is always the option of paying an upperclassman to group with you. This will increase your point value and essentially guarantee you a single.

    In short, here are your summarized options:
    i) Re-route housing track to LLC program
    ii) Apply for housing transfer to Wien at the *START* of fall 2012
    iii) Pay an upperclassman to group with you, thereby increasing your point value
    iv) Adopt an Albanian, force him/her to watch Mona Lisa Smile with you at least 7 times a day, buy a camel's toe and do the stanky leg.

  6. Lol?

    Such a funny thought to be a freshman.

  7. CC '14  

    I am SO glad I was smart enough to apply to the LLC last year.

  8. Anonymous  

    Apply for the LLC or try to get the LLC. That's where I lived my sophomore year.

  9. O H L A W D Z  

    Schapiro single sophomore year.

    Come at me bro.

  10. 2,000?

    There's closer to 1,500 in the soph class eligible for housing. 1,100 CC and 400 SEAS. If you add GS or Barnard, yes, you do get ~2,000, but that population isn't eligible for most forms of housing.

  11. also  

    you forgot to subtract the number of sophomores who are in LLC. Raises this poor fellow's chances just slightly.

  12. Anonymous

    You're not competing against those 2,000 other sophomores for singles, because most of them are in suites, so the statistics go way up.

  13. Notez  

    You can get a Hogan single bro don't worry

  14. Guy who posted this


  15. sucks to suck  

    I'm in the same place as this poor fellow. I really am screwed.

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