You could say this is Columbia’s version of the Oscars, but the one difference is that people get the list of Oscar nominees ahead of time.

Housing Selection Season: a wonderful time of year if you’re at the top of the list, a friendship-testing, merciless hell if you’re at the bottom. For me personally, it’s my favorite time to be a Staff Writer on Bwog because I love everything about reviewing buildings, predicting dorm selection patterns, and filling each bottom-dwelling housing group with a whirlwind of both hope and despair. Most importantly, I love it when the list of all the group names and time slots gets released before CU housing selection actually begins. It’s so fun to see how everyone chose to identify themselves in comparison to the rest of campus.

Now, for some reason unbeknownst to everyone, Housing won’t release the big PDF of all the names and times, even though it’s been great for referencing when deciding where you’re going to live for a whole year, and no student has ever said it was not useful, but…c’est la vie, I guess. However, that doesn’t mean we still can’t rank the best names of this year’s housing selection! Even while being completely blinded, we at Bwog wanted to keep this tradition going of listing and reviewing the twelve best group names of this year’s Housing Lottery!

So, let’s begin.

Coming in at dead last, we have: A Random UNI – Pulling a Jason Derulo and “Ridin’ Solo,” huh? Respect. It sucks you can’t name yourself something funny because you don’t have a single friend to combine forces with, but hey, some numbers are funny…that is, if you’re 12 years old (yeah, you know the numbers). I’d disqualify you from Bwog’s ranking for not actually having a group, but since we literally do not know a single group name because Housing won’t release the PDF, we’ll give all you bachelor(ette)s a special shoutout. We really hope that single works out!

Eleventh on our official list is: Your group leader’s name in the possessive form plus the word “group” (ex. “Andy’s Group”) – You are probably new to how this whole Lottery works, and that’s okay! It’s custom that one has to go through one year of having a lame name before understanding that this is the nerdy equivalent of a DIY fashion show. I’ve been there, my friends have been there. However, where’s your Beginner’s Mind? Are you really going to put all your faith in “Andy”?!?! What if you got a terrible number? Andy, you’re the face of the group—you’ll never live this down! The better names have that sense of anonymity, a certain level of mystery, spice, and intrigue the rest of the student body mulls over as they wait in anticipation for your turn to pass.

Another reminder before we continue: we don’t have the official list of names (thank you, Housing). We’re just going off what is probably on that forbidden PDF document. We don’t actually know if there is a real “Andy’s Group,” and if there is, Andy, you’re a star.

The tenth-best name of this year’s Housing Lottery Group Name List is: The Name of a Group Chat – I love inside jokes; they’re so neat, and I’m glad you’re a part of one. I love not understanding inside jokes, too: it reminds me that we are leading very different lives at this school. However, because I don’t get the joke, I’m not laughing! You could be the best comedian in the school, and your group name could be a real knee-slapper, but my knees are not being slapped right now. You’re all obsessed with Marx at this school—what ever happened to appealing to the masses?!

Ninth on the list is: Any variation of “boys” or “girls” – Oh my gosh, a single-sex housing group: the jokes write themselves! I love being assured that the bond between pseudo-sisters or brotherly besties is unbreakable, and everyone would be at least semi-okay with sharing a room with each other if the number really does not work out. Absolutely nothing can get in between your conveniently arranged, chummy group of either 8 or 10…except maybe the last single available for picking. Who needs Beta or AKO when a whole wing of McBain is right there? You do, however, get extra bonus points if your housing group name is some iteration of “Hot Girls” or “Sexy Boys.” These happen every year, and there’s no way around it.

Note: If more than one group on campus fills this role, congratulations! You’re all tied for ninth place on this ranking. Again, we at Bwog (or anyone at Columbia, for that matter) have no idea what any group is named because the very useful PDF is no longer available to students. So, for all we know, you all win the title of “Ninth Best Group Name For The Columbia University 2022 Housing Selection Lottery.”

Bwog’s official pick for the eighth-best group name in this year’s lottery goes to: “ASuiteNextYear” (or something of the sort) – As Millie Bobby Brown once sang, “You may saAaAAAaaAaaaAAaaAaAyyyyyy I’m a drrrrEaAaAAAAaaaAaaaAAaAAAmEeeeEEeeeeEEEEEer!” I love a good manifestation with a hint of hopeless wishing, especially when it falls so low in the lottery. Do you feel *affirmed*? Did you actually live up to your goal of “NotMcBain,” or are you a rising sophomore in the lower half of the lottery section for your class group? Did you, as that same rising sophomore group, manage to get that 4-person Claremont suite, or did you seriously consider the 7-person option before you decided banishing one member to a blind McBain double violates the Geneva Conventions (yes, this happened before)? If you *claimed* that reality, I’m *claiming* you as a solid 8th place.

The seventh-best group name is: The Name With Obligatory Early 2000s Slang – If I see any group name with “Swag,” “Coolio,” “xoxo,” any dollar signs AT ALL, or any word that ends in a “z” instead of an “s,” you’re placing right here on the list. We get it, it’s ironic, no one actually talks like they’re in a 2007 AT&T commercial texting their BFF Jill, so that’s what makes it funny!

In sixth place for best housing group name, we have: A Random Object – Nothing generates a lot of laughter like encountering a random object while reading out the list of names—well, back when you COULD read out the list of group names. Imagine: you’re sifting through your UNIs, your gangs of boys and/or girls, your group chat names, then boom! “Applesauce.” Who came up with that? Who looked at their housing group, assessed all the personalities and vibes of each member, and said, “You know what spiritually embodies us? Applesauce.” Like, so true! Applesauce really does embody you! Bonus points go to any group that gets really hyper-specific with the random object they choose. I’m talking about exact models of kitchen appliances—an absolute masterpiece of a group name. If you had a random object as your housing selection group name, please tell us about it—Columbia Housing will not.

And now for our top five housing group names for this year’s lottery!

In fifth place: A Name of a Band That Already Exists – If you are a group of four guys—regardless of your talents, appearance, personalities, whatever—and you call yourselves “The Beatles” simply because they were also four guys, then you’ve convinced me: you’re The Beatles now. If you call yourselves “One Direction” because you are five men and one of you definitely thinks you’re unofficially the best looking, then expect a LOT of people knocking on your door asking you to sing “No Control.” Or, if you’re the Spice Girls because, well, you are girls with distinct personalities, then I guess I have to shake it to the right ‘cause I’m having a good time! If you chose to be “The Smiths,” however, do not join any of my Core classes. I do not want to hear it.

Fourth place: Any variation of “boys” or “girls” but there’s another word that adds shock value – Maybe instead of “The Boys,” you’re “gluten-free eagle scouts.” Instead of “Girl Bosses,” you’re “Lost Daughters of Elizabeth Holmes.” These names never fail to punch me in the gut and make the sting linger: these will burn their rightful place in your brain for as long as you can remember. They take the more conventional form of the same-sex group name and expand upon it, adding a flair of creativity only that combination of people could come up with. This name is a mark of pure genius, and I desperately want to know which group names fall within this category—it is my dying wish.

The third best housing group name in this year’s lottery goes to: The Overtly Lewd One – One of you named your group something that would wake Freud from the dead; I can sense it. Whether it’s vaguely announcing your kinks to the school (Oh, you think milk and catboys/girls are funny? How interesting…) or just calling your group—mind you, a group of 18-21 year-olds—“mommies” or “daddies,” know that I am onto you. I have you under a microscope and I am using my Bwog power to study you like a bug. You may have slipped through the filter of propriety that Columbia has for selecting names, and my God, do I not know how your name got published, but I see you clearly.

In second place, we have: The Very Good Pun – Since no one knows what pun you made because we’ve been banned from seeing the PDF with said pun, let me speak for the whole Columbia community: Haha! Great pun! It was a perfect balance between sensible, lighthearted humor and sharp, shock value that perfectly and efficiently references a current event and/or cultural object we all recognize! You totally got us! No one saw you coming, and I must say…you, my good friend, are one, creative fellow.

And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for…

First place for the 2022 Columbia University Housing Lottery Selection Group Name goes to: My group’s name, specifically – Yep, because CU Housing won’t release the PDF list of names, I’m giving first place to the only group name I actually know: my own. Is it cheating? Maybe. But, get this: I’m really funny, and everyone in my housing selection group is hot and cool. So, guess what, Columbia? Until CU Housing releases the PDF of housing groups ordered by selection priority, first place goes to me and me only! Everyone, get on my group’s level.

Yes, it’s sad to say that we cannot give a precise ranking of the best names you all came up with to provide some light in the darkness of Lottery Season, but I hope that this one satisfies your needs. We at Bwog would genuinely like to hear your group names, so if you think you have a great one, comment it down below! Maybe if we get enough, we’ll do an even more official ranking (though I think this one will prove to be fairly accurate).

Oh, and CU Housing will not see heaven for depriving us of the list of housing group names.

A Nice, Happy Photo via Bwog Staff