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Ask Bwog Housingmaster: Is Bigger Better?

Group registration for the 2013 Housing cycle has begun: you have until Thursday to make friends. And with a new year of Columbia housing comes a new list of questions, concerns, and general perplexities. We’re here to help — send in all your housing related inquiries to housing@bwog.com for the best answer we can come up with. Hopefully, it’ll be generally correct. The question we’ve heard from anxious freshpersons (and everyone, really) the most often recently: is bigger better? 

Question: Will registering for housing as a larger group increase my chances of getting a good lottery number?

Answer: No. Contrary to somewhat popular belief, groups of eight don’t have any better chances in the lottery than groups of two. Instead of every individual being assigned a lottery number and the most desirable number being chosen as the group’s assignment (which is totally how one Bwogger thought it worked last year and hence rushed for a group of eight), the entire group gets one number from the outset. Assignments do not take group sizes into account and instead just randomly gives every group a number.  So you have no pressure to make nice with a large group of randos.  Chances are, as a freshperson, you’ll be living in a double.  Unless you have high hopes, a streak of good luck, or a group of friends pre-paired-up that all want to live in the same hallway and pick at the same time (i.e. you were already planning on going in with a big group of BFFS), you might as well group with only one friend.

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10 Comments

  • I knew this before even coming here says:

    @I knew this before even coming here So obvious

    1. oh no says:

      @oh no You’re cool

    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous spoken in true hipster fashion.

  • worried bc says:

    @worried bc Is this true for Barnard housing too? If so I’m totally lost and misunderstood.

    1. dirty mike says:

      @dirty mike obv,i

    2. Alexandra says:

      @Alexandra Not true for Barnard housing! Sorry for any panic.

      In Barnard housing each person gets an individual number, and groups then use the best number received by a member. So: the only real way to game the system is to try to get your friend with the lowest (i.e. best) number to want to live with you.

      1. bcccc says:

        @bcccc @Alexandra: Have you guys thought about doing a Barnard housing guide? I’ve tried to talk to first years I know but it gets confusing when most of the info that Barnard students are seeing is patently false.

        Also, I’d appreciate a primer to how mixed groups on both sides of the street work lottery-wise!

  • #EricFeder says:

    @#EricFeder knows all the answers

  • LIST OF THINGS THAT ARE BIGGER/SMALLER/BETTER/WORSE says:

    @LIST OF THINGS THAT ARE BIGGER/SMALLER/BETTER/WORSE BWOG, TO ANSWER YOUR FUCKING QUESTION:

    THINGS THAT ARE BIGGER AND BETTER:
    1) Guns
    2) My first year post-grad bonus
    3) My start up’s VC investment injection
    4) Cars with leg room
    5) Planes with leg room
    6) Dorm rooms
    7) Nutella Marketing campaigns
    8) “Suits” episode length
    9) Lunch buffets
    10) Midterm scores

    THINGS THAT ARE BIGGER BUT WORSE:
    1) Vaginas
    2) Egos
    3) My first year job’s unemployment numbers
    4) My start up’s VC investment equity in my company
    5) Women

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Can anyone comment on past cutoff history for the Barnard cap?

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