Housing Lottery & Room Draw for 2017-2018


It’s that time of year for the Housing Lottery & Room Draw for the 2017-2018 academic year! The information on our website should answer and explain almost anything & everything you ever wanted to know about applying for the Housing Lottery & going through the Room Draw. Scroll below to learn more!

It is VERY important that you pay attention to all deadlines, due dates, and schedules for the process, as well as any additional information that comes out from the Office of Student Life about housing.

Deadlines are deadlines, and once they’ve passed, they’ve passed.

We understand that choosing your pick group and room can put a lot of pressure on you. Do your best to stay relaxed about everything, and if you have a question, contact us. We’re here to help, and we’ll respond as soon as we can. Thanks.

  • Important Deadlines & Dates
    • Monday, April 10: Special Housing Consideration Application available online
    • Sunday, April 16: Special Housing Consideration Application Deadline
    • Thursday, April 20: Deadline for students studying away in the fall of 2017 to withdraw their study-away petition in order to participate in Room Draw
    • Friday, April 21: General Housing Lottery Online Group Registration opens
    • Monday, April 24 @ 11:59pm eastern time: Online Group Registration closes
    • Thursday, April 27: Lottery results will be posted online through PeopleSoft (an email will go out to let you know when they’re ready, please be patient)
    • Friday, April 28: Proxy forms due (for students who cannot attend Room Draw at their designated time)
    • Sunday, April 30: Room Draw at Greylock Hall (will be taking place from 9am – 8pm – we will notify you via email regarding your specific time to appear at Greylock to select your room)
  • Eligibility

    Eligible Students are those who meet ALL of the following criteria:

    • will be on campus in the fall
    • do not have a study-away petition for the fall or full-year on file with the Dean’s Office after the April 20 deadline
    • have not yet selected or been assigned on-campus housing for 2017-2018
    • will not be a JA, HC, ND, or a pull-in for 2017-2018
    • have not signed a release to live off-campus for 2017-2018
    • do not have a Lottery Hold on their record as of April 20.

    If your plans change (and/or you get your Lottery Hold removed after April 20), you will have an opportunity to select a room during the August Lottery.

  • Applying

    You can apply as an individual or in a group of up to 6 total. After a group of students has decided to live together or an individual has decided to enter the lottery independently, they must create and/or join an online PeopleSoft “Room Draw Group” (yes, even as an individual).

    The application process will open on Friday, April 21, and will close on Monday, April 24 @ 11:59pm eastern time.

    Applying as an Individual

    Step 1:  Sign into your PeopleSoft account.

    Step 2:  Navigate through Self Service – Campus Life – Room Draw – Create a NEW Room Draw Group (you’re considered a “group” even as an individual).

    Step 3:  Follow the instructions found there.

    Applying as a Group (of 2 to 6)

    Step 1:  Designate a member of your pick-group to create the Room Draw Group in PeopleSoft (we’ll call this person the Creator). It is critical to clearly decide who will be the Creator, because this step must be done ONLY ONCE PER GROUP.

    Step 2:  Creator signs into her/his PeopleSoft account.

    Step 3:  Creator navigates through Self Service – Campus Life – Room Draw – Create a NEW Room Draw Group.

    Step 4:  Creator follows the instructions found there.

    • Notice that there are look-up fields where you can select the email address of the rest of your group. Use the magnifying glass icon to search for the email address. It must be an exact match to an address on the list, so it’s best to look it up. Advanced search will allow you to bring up all of the email addresses containing a part of the email address.
    • If a student is already in a different Room Draw Group, you will *not* be able to find their email address in the list.
    • Listing the email addresses of the other students in the Room Draw Group does *NOT* enroll them in the Room Draw Group; rather, listing them simply enable the program to send them an email message with the Room Draw Group ID number and instructions on how to join the group.

    Step 5:  Creator will automatically be enrolled in the Room Draw Group.
    Step 6:  The rest of the pick group (we’ll call these people “Joiners“) will receive an email with the Room Draw Group ID number, to join the Room Draw Group with the Creator. If for some reason the Creator did not originally list you, you can still join the group if you have the Room Draw Group ID number (ask the Creator or another Joiner for that). Once a Room Draw Group has six members, it will no longer accept additions, as six is the maximum group size.
    Step 7:  Each Joiner then signs into his/her PeopleSoft account.
    Step 8:  Joiner navigates through Self Service – Campus Life – Room Draw – Join a Room Draw Group.
    Step 9:  In the “Part One – Check your Group” box, Joiner enters the Room Draw Group ID number they received, and clicks the “Look up Group Members” button. The Creator and any other Joiners who have already gone into the system, will be listed there.
    Step 10:  If this is the correct group, Joiner continues to the “Part Two – Join Your Group” box. Follow the instructions concerning the year off check box and then click “Join Group.”
    Step 11:  You can verify that you are in the group by going back to the Part One box and looking up the group members again. Your name should also appear.

    Important Notes

    The Room Draw Group ID number is NOT the group’s lottery/pick order number – it’s just a number used to identify the group for the purposes of the application.

    Removing Yourself from a Group:  if you need to be removed from a group so that you can join another prior to the lottery numbers being run, you will need to visit Gail Rondeau Hebert in the Office of Student Life for assistance.

  • Getting & Understanding Your Lottery Number

    How to Get your Lottery Number

    By the end of the day on Thursday, April 27, your lottery number (Group, as well as Pick Order within Group) will be ready – we will email you to let you know, and you will retrieve the number in PeopleSoft (Self-Service – Campus life – Room Draw – Room Lottery Results).

    How the Lottery Numbers are Determined

    Each lottery applicant is assigned a point value – 3 points for rising seniors, 2 points for rising juniors, & 1 point for rising sophomores. Your class year is based on your academic standing via the Registrar’s Office. If you have questions about what your class year may be for the purposes of the lottery, please contact Gail Rondeau Hebert in the Office of Student Life by April 20.

    Group applications receive an average point value. A group of all rising seniors will have a point value of 3. A group of three rising seniors and a rising junior will have a point value of 2.75. A group of two rising sophomores and two rising juniors will have a point value of 1.5. And on and on. Higher point values will have better lottery pick numbers than lower point values. And within identical point-values, a computer program randomly ranks the applications.

    Once the lottery numbers are run, you will be able to see a Group Pick number (your group’s pick order in the entire lottery), and a Pick Order within Group number (your individual pick order within your group, 1-6).

    Please Note:  the size of your group does not make your lottery number better or worse, nor does the timing of your application (as long as it’s submitted by the deadline). Numbers are seniority-based, then random within same-point values.

  • Preparing for Room Draw - Things to Consider

    Some things to think about as you prepare for Room Draw.

    Who to Live With (if anyone)

    You can enter the lottery individually or in groups of up to 6 – the point of that is to ensure that you get to pick at the same time, although your group is allowed to split & pick into different locations if you choose to do so or when choices get slim. Although sometimes students agonize over the idea of being apart from their friends, history has shown that new friends & opportunities can arise from what may seem at first like the most dismal of housing situations.

    Where to Live

    You’ll get to choose from the upperclass rooms that have not already been selected by or pre-assigned to Neighborhood Leadership & pull-ins, special housing consideration students & pull-ins, and students ahead of you in the Draw. To help you strategize, rosters of rooms & pre-assignments will be available through Google Sheets (Williams log-in required), along with floor plans that include approximate square-footage per room (please note: square footages are estimates only – if you are unsure of a square footage listed for a room, visit the room ahead of time – and if it seems like the square-footage listed is significantly inaccurate, let Gail Rondeau Hebert in OSL know).

    The best thing is to have a good number of ideas in mind BEFORE you come to Room Draw, and the most-prepared students rank-order their options in advance and simply work their way through them until they get to the best-available option. Always good to have a Plan B. And C. And D. And maybe even E.

    Can’t Be at the Draw? Designate a Proxy

    If you can’t be at Room Draw at your designated time, make sure you designate a proxy by Friday, April 28. Your designated proxy will act on your behalf and will make your housing selection for you. Be sure they know your top choices & back-up options, and make sure they know when they are supposed to be at the Room Draw to select for you.

    A proxy’s selection on your behalf is the same as if you select yourself – so be sure your proxy is someone who will have your best housing interests in mind.

    Do Your Homework

    Yep, even Room Draw has homework. Review the online floor plans & rosters. Look through DormTrak* (and even leave your own feedback on rooms where you’ve lived for others to see). Take room dimensions. Figure out where the sun rises in relation to the room’s window. Pace off how many steps it takes to get to the bathroom. Determine how close in proximity you can tolerate the Lasell bells.

    Do what you need to do – but please, please, do it BEFORE you come to Room Draw. By the time you get to Room Draw, be as prepared for it as you would be for a mid-term or final in one of your classes.

    * DormTrak is provided by Williams Students Online (WSO), and is intended for students to share with other students about their impressions of campus residences. The Office of Student Life accepts no responsibility for the opinions expressed on DormTrak.

    A Note on the Neighborhood Hub Houses (Currier, Dodd, Spencer, & Wood)

    These four buildings are intended to be the social centers of each of the four Neighborhoods, so its reasonable that they will be more active at certain times. If you are someone who prefers to be away from the frequent noise and other activities associated with parties & social events, think carefully before choosing a room in one of these buildings. While it is expected that there be a balance between the needs of these houses’ residents and the ability of the Neighborhood to use the spaces for events, you may find that living somewhere else is easier if you want a little more solitude.

  • Designating a Proxy

    Deadline to Submit the Proxy Form for the April Room Draw: Friday, April 28.

    Students, use this form to designate another person to be a proxy for you in all matters relating to housing during time away from Williams or in such a case where you are not available to act on your own behalf in matters related to housing. Your proxy’s housing selection for you holds the same weight as if you make the decision yourself.

    By submitting this form, you certify that you have given your proxy authorization to act on your behalf, that your proxy has been informed of this designation, and that your proxy has agreed to act on your behalf.

    Questions? Contact Gail Rondeau Hebert, Housing Assignments Coordinator.

  • Room Draw Day - What to Expect


    2nd floor of Greylock Hall (the building tucked into the northwest corner of the ’62 Center for Theatre & Dance)


    Sunday, April 30, 9am – 8pm

    Your actual room draw time will depend upon your lottery number – this information will be sent out once the lottery numbers have been determined.

    The Process

    1. Arrive @ Greylock Hall 2nd Floor by your Check-In Time with your Williams ID.
    2. At your Check-In Time, show your Williams ID to the Check-In Table staff. They will connect you with a Room Draw Concierge, who will have your Room Draw Selection (RDS) Card (an index card with your information on a label and your pick-group number). At this point, you may put your ID away.
    3. You’ll enter the Selection Area with your Concierge. Look over the Floorplans and ask any last-minute questions you may have.
    4. At your Check-Out Time (which is 15 minutes after your Check-In Time), your pick-group number will be announced to finalize your selection. Q&A time is over, and you must select a room. If you don’t immediately go to the appropriate Selection Table with your Concierge when your number is called to select your room, it will be considered a “pass,” and you will have to wait until the August Lottery to select a room from what’s available at that time.
    5. Tell your Concierge which building you’ve chosen, go to the appropriate Selection Table with the Concierge, and tell the Room Draw Staff at the table which available room you want. They will attach the corresponding label to your RDS Card and will give it to you. Your Concierge will direct you to the Check-Out Room.
    6. Give your RDS Card to the Check-Out Room Staff (your selection will appear on Google Sheets).
    7. Visit the Neighborhood Swag Room – let them know which Neighborhood you chose into, and they’ll give you the correlating swag. You’ll also get to choose some candy of your liking.
    8. Head out the exit. That’s it – you’re done!
    To keep the whole process moving for everyone, you may NOT hang out in the Selection Room, Check-Out Room, or Swag/Candy room after you check out. Once you’re finished, please head out.

    Proxying for Someone?

    Be sure you know the person’s housing preferences and be sure to be on-time as if you were that person. You will show your own ID at the Check-In Table and let the staff know for whom you are proxying. They will confirm this on the proxy list, and then give you the RDS card of the person for whom you are proxying. You then go through the process as if you were that person.

    If You Miss Your Check-Out Time…

    Let’s hope you don’t. If you don’t immediately go to the Selection Table when your number is called to check out, it will be considered a “pass,” and you will have to wait until the August Lottery to select a room from what’s available at that time. And no intentional delays, sorry!

    Bring With You:

    • Your Williams ID (if you’re a proxy for someone else, just bring your own ID).
    • Your smartphone, tablet, or computer if you want to follow the selections & rosters online in real-time.
    • The people you are grouped with (if any), or their proxies.
    • A rank-order of your housing preferences from most-desirable to least.
    • An open mind & a positive attitude!

    Floorplans, Rosters, & Selection Updates

    Best Bet: Bring your smartphone, tablet, or computer to follow along in real-time.

    Building info & floorplans are available online here. One large set of floorplans will be printed and located in the Selection Room posted on the walls/windows.

    Rosters (indicating who will be living in what rooms) and Selection Updates (in pick order) will be available via Google Sheets (Williams Sign-In Required – use your Williams Google account, not your personal one).

    Gender Caps

    A house may have no more than a 60% composition of occupants of the same gender. If a pick group is trying to stay together and doing so would put a house over the cap by ONE person, that is permitted; but not for more than one person.

    Roommates & Gender

    Upperclass students may choose to live in a double with a student of a different gender if both students agree to this.

    Doubles (including Flex Rooms Being Used as Doubles)

    Until no more single rooms are available across campus, doubles may only be selected by filling them at the time of selection, either within the pick group or, if the pick group is an odd number, by pulling up one additional willing student from later in the Draw to fill the other half of the double.

    At the point that no more singles are available across campus, a double room may be selected by a single entrant – however, within a pick group, doubles must be filled by same-gender pairs as much as possible before an individual takes a double as a single entrant. In this situation, one individual in the pick group may opt to pull up one additional willing student from later in the Draw to fill the other half of the double.

    If you do select a double as a single entrant, be aware that:

    • Another student of the same gender who is choosing housing after you may take the other spot in the room.
    • After the Room Draw, open spots in doubles will be listed as available for all mini-lotteries for the 2017-2018 academic year.
    • The Office of Student Life reserves the right to place another student of the same gender into the other spot in the room at any point.
    • Doubles which are chosen by only one person, will not be guaranteed as singles.

    The No Pressure Rule

    If you or your group feel pressured negatively when selecting a room or at any point during the process, inform an OSL staff member immediately. Students found to be pressuring other students may have their eligibility for the Room Draw revoked on the spot by OSL (thus delaying room selection to August), and may be referred to the Dean’s Office for disciplinary action.

  • Quiet Housing

    Quiet Housing will once again be located in Thompson Hall for the 2017-2018 academic year.

    What is Quiet Housing?

    All Williams’ student residences have residential community standards & expectations, including those regarding neighborly noise & sound level considerations. Quiet Housing at Williams is a residential community which thrives through a focused approach to ensuring a quieter living environment for its residents.

    By living in Quiet Housing, students agree to (this may be expanded by the Office of Student Life):

    • Have respect for designated quiet hours and for other residents’ need for quiet
    • Abide by quiet hours that are minimally from 10PM – 7AM (may be expanded by the community)
    • Help the House Coordinator to create and maintain additional guidelines for quiet living, along with the rest of the house community
    • Abide by any additional rules and regulations set forth in the Quiet Housing Agreement

    How Do You Request or Select a Room in Quiet Housing?

    There are two ways you can do so:

    1. Submit a Special Housing Consideration Request for review between April 10 – April 16, or…
    2. Select a room through the General Room Draw (if any rooms are left open after the Special Housing Considerations process).

    Questions?  Contact Gail Rondeau Hebert, Housing Coordinator.

  • Special Housing Consideration (SHoC) Requests

    The SHoC Request Form was due by Sunday, April 16 for consideration in advance of the Housing Lottery & Room Draw. Requests submitted after the April 16 deadline will NOT be reviewed in advance of the April 30 Room Draw.

    Special Housing Considerations requests to be considered in advance of the April 2017 Lottery & Room Draw for housing for the 2017-2018 academic year will be accepted starting on Monday, April 10, and will be due by Sunday, April 16. If you submitted a request, you should receive an email notice of the outcome of your request by the end of the day Monday, April 17. If your request is approved, you will have until Wednesday, April 19 to formally accept the assignment for yourself (and your pull-ins).

    Requests submitted after the April 16, 2017 deadline will not be reviewed in advance of the April 30 Room Draw.

  • Students Studying Away Right Now (Spring 2017)

    You will select a room through a Proxy of your choice, and you must designate a proxy by Friday, April 28. Please, Please, PLEASE be sure to give your Proxy as much information as possible ahead of time about what kind of housing you want, and we highly recommend a rank-order of buildings/rooms if its likely your first choices are taken. And make sure they know the time they need to appear at Room Draw and what your number is.

  • Students Who Plan to Study Away Next Fall (Fall 2017)

    Students With a Study-Away Petition Filed with the Dean’s Office for the Fall of 2017 or for the Full Year 2017-2018

    The deadline to withdraw your study-away petition to participate in this lottery is Thursday, April 20. If your plans change after the April 20 deadline and you expect to be on-campus for the fall of 2017, you may enter the August Lottery. Students who have a study-away petition on file with the Dean’s Office for the Fall of 2017 or for the Full Year 2017-2018 as of Friday, April 21 are ineligible to participate in this lottery process.

    Students Studying Away in the Fall of 2017 or Fall 2017 + Winter Study 2018

    You may want to talk with a student studying away for the Spring Semester 2017 to see if you can take that student’s room when you return to campus. In these cases, a Study Away Room Share form must be submitted (OSL will make this form available online in the fall of 2017).  Please note that these agreements are only valid if the student planning to leave for the spring actually goes; if that student’s plans change and they stay, they have priority to retain the room.

  • Flex Rooms - Ensuring Adequate Bedcount Numbers

    In April, OSL conducts an analysis of the College’s upperclass bed capacity in comparison to the number of students anticipated to be eligible to enter the annual general housing lottery process for housing for the following academic year. The timing coincides with the deadline to withdraw study-away petitions, so that we have our clearest numbers possible for the analysis.

    Rooms designated “flex” will be used as doubles when necessary to ensure that there are enough beds available for the draw as well as some flexibility for situations that arise which require students to move or need a temporary housing location.

    Room desgianted “flex” will have two sets of furnishings at all times, whether being used as a single or a double for the year. Both sets of furniture must remain in the room, regardless of single/double usage.

  • FAQ's

    Q:  If I submit my lottery application earlier, do I have a better chance at a good number?

    A:  No. As long as you enter the lottery by the deadline, the lottery number system does not take the time applications were submitted into account.

    Q:  Does the size of the pick group determine the pick order?

    A:  No. Pick order is based on group average point value, then randomized within the same group average point values.

    Q:  I can’t make it to my Room Draw time.  What do I do?

    A:  Designate a Proxy to select your room for you, by Friday, April 28. Make sure they have all of your necessary information (pick time, your preferences, etc.).

    Q:  I have an earlier pick number than some of my friends, and I want to wait until my friends pick. Can I postpone my pick until it’s their turn?

    A:  No, sorry. Under NO circumstances may you postpone your pick. When your number is called, you either select a room, or you must wait until the August Lottery.

    Q:  I’ve already chosen/been assigned a spot in an earlier housing process. Can I still enter the General Housing Lottery to see if I can get a better spot?

    A:  No. If you’ve already selected/been assigned a spot for next year on- or off-campus, you are not eligible to enter this lottery.

    Q:  It looks like some rooms are already taken – why?

    A:  Students selected as Neighborhood Directors and House Coordinators and their pull-ins select rooms prior to the draw. Additionally, students who have been approved for Special Housing Considerations and their pull-ins are assigned to rooms prior to the draw.

    Q:  What’s a Lottery Hold?

    A:  Various offices on campus may place a hold on your eligibility to participate in a housing lottery/room draw. Student Health Services, the Bursar’s Office, Financial Aid, Dean’s Office, Facilities, Campus Safety, and the Office of Student Life all have authority to place a lottery hold. Typical reasons include but are not limited to: incomplete paperwork, late payments, unpaid parking tickets, disciplinary issues, etc.

    Q:  How do I know if I have a Lottery Hold?

    A:  You’ve likely already heard from the office that placed the hold. You can also look in PeopleSoft Self-Service under Lottery Holds – click there, and if you have one, it’ll be noted there along with the name of the office(s) that has placed the hold. Also, if you have a Lottery Hold, you will *NOT* see the option in PS Self-Service to Create a NEW Room Draw Group, nor the option to Join a Room Draw Group.

    Q:  How do I get a Lottery Hold released?

    A:  Contact the office that placed the Lottery Hold (contact info is in PS Self-Service) – once they confirm with OSL that the situation is taken care of, the hold will be released.

    Q:  What’s the deadline to get a Lottery Hold released so that I can participate in the Lottery?

    A:  Thursday, April 20.

    Q:  If I select a room at Room Draw and then decide I want something else, what can I do?

    A:  First & foremost: you cannot return to the Room Draw to make a change. Once you’ve made your selection, you’ve made your selection.

    You do have two options to make a change after the Room Draw:

    Option 1:  You may swap your room with another upperclass student during an upcoming Room Swap Process (the first one will take place during the summer), provided that the student does not end up studying away or leaving the College and as long as the swap doesn’t put a building over the 60% gender cap. Notices about Room Swap Processes will be sent out via email and/or Daily Messages.

    Option 2:  Enter a Mini-Lottery (the first one is the August Lottery). Please note: if you enter a mini-lottery, your existing room assignment will be offered for all mini-lottery entrants to select from. The risk is that you may have to select a room that is less satisfactory to you than your existing assignment; however, if your existing room assignment hasn’t been selected in the mini-lottery prior to your turn, you may opt to re-select it.

    Q:  How many students are in this year’s lottery/draw?

    A:  We’ll let you know when you get your lottery number.

    Q:  How many pick groups are there in this year’s lottery/draw?

    A:  We’ll let you know when you get your lottery number.

    Q:  Which pick groups pick when?

    A:  We’ll let you know when you get your lottery number.