Frequently Asked Questions
Why is room draw so big and hectic?
Room draw may seem "big and hectic" from the outside, but actually, it runs quite smoothly. We have developed a system that streamlines the process so that assignments can be completed in a timely manner. Rest assured that we do everything possible to accommodate your request for your future housing assignment.
Why is my room draw number 9000-something, when I know there are not 9,000 students on this campus?
If you have 9000 number, it signifies that you are one of the students who did not fill out the first BannerWeb form on time. We then allowed you to return to your house or enter the lottery, but whatever house you end up in, you will choose after others in your class year.
For example, if your number is 9561, you originally were given number 561, but because you did not fill out the first BannerWeb form, a 9 is put in front of your original number to designate that you must choose after others in your class, in your house at room draw. So you will still be able to choose in your class year at room draw, but it will be after those who did fill out the form on time.
What does "group" mean when you've received your lottery number?
This is a computer-generated term that enables the computer to sort by class year codes.
How does room draw work for suites and doubles?
Students interested in sharing suites or doubles must show up together for room draw. Having the same assigned house, of course, is a prerequisite. The best (lowest) room draw number will be called and all those interested in the suite or double must be present.
What if I cannot make it on the night and time my class year and house are scheduled to draw?
You are responsible for making arrangements for a proxy to pick your room. You need to contact someone who can represent you during room draw. Please send an e-mail to this person and include your name and ID number and written permission allowing her to be your proxy. This person must bring the e-mail to room draw, either printed or available to show on a smartphone or tablet device. Please DO NOT send an e-mail to the Office of Residence Life with this information.
Why don't people already living in the house get priority over people moving into the house, when they have the same class year?
To make it fair for all students to have a chance to move into any house on campus, lottery numbers are produced per class year regardless of their assigned house. There are a few exceptions such as specialty housing.
What if I don't like the room I chose and want to change rooms or houses after room draw?
Post Room Draw Change Forms will be available after room draw in Clark Hall and on the Forms & Applications page. Depending on room availability, we will consider you for a room change later in the spring and summer as rooms open for various reasons. This form is a request only; there is no guarantee that you will be moved to another room. All available spaces on campus are generally full once room draw ends. Students in TBA status will have priority over post room draw changes.
I didn't get any of my five house choices! Why?
All houses on campus (with the exception of special houses) are required to house a percentage of students from each class year. This means that there are only a certain number of spaces available in each house for each class year. You may have selected houses that had a limited number of spaces for your class year, or a large number of students in your class may have selected the same houses. Either way, the students with the lowest lottery numbers were able to claim the available spaces.
What happens if I do a room change form during room draw?
If you are requesting a room change within your house, that is not a problem. If you are requesting to move to a different house and have accepted it, you must wait to complete the house decision form until after you've received an e-mail that your new house has been changed in Banner. All changes are final once your housing assignment as been changed in Banner and you've gone through the house decision process. If you request a room change while the house choice form is up, it won't be processed until the form closes. If you do change your mind, you will need to fill out a Post Room Draw Change Form.
Now that I am TBA, how do I get a house and room?
After you complete the TBA housing form (distributed with lottery results), you will be on the TBA list according to your original lottery number (on your house choice form). Vacancies primarily occur when students file for late leaves of absence or withdraw for the following semester. Once your TBA housing form is turned in, please be patient—the requests that you originally selected during room draw and what you write on your TBA housing form will be considered fully, and you will be notified when a room in your house or area of preference is assigned to you. If your house choice does not become available, you will be contacted via your Smith email account for more information and a placement.
Leave of Absence and Withdrawals
If I withdraw and I am readmitted to the college before the housing lottery process begins, may I participate in the lottery process?
No. You will be housed through a separate process during the summer after you are readmitted. Your room assignment will be mailed to you during the summer.
While I am on leave from Smith, how will I find out about the housing lottery in order to secure my housing for my return to Smith?
You will be receiving e-mails along with all other current students. You will be going through the process at the same time.
I have applied to study away for the fall semester; how do I notify you of this?
Students who submit an application to study abroad for fall semester or the entire year should participate in house/room draw. Housing assignments for students who are studying abroad will be canceled once we receive confirmation from the Registrar's Office that student's leave status has been approved and accepted. This will occur in late April. We will also contact all students planning to go abroad to gain confirmation directly from the student as well.
Living Off Campus
I want to be off campus, but I didn't get one of the spaces in the off-campus lottery. What can I do?
If your number was not low enough to get one of the off-campus lottery spaces, you can still petition to be off campus for the fall semester. Off-campus petitions can be picked up at the Office of Residence Life, Clark Hall 101 or from our Forms & Applications page.
Disabilities & Special Needs
How can I make sure my disability or medical needs will be taken into consideration during room draw?
We and the Office of Disability Services will work together to arrange appropriate housing accommodations for all students with documented disabilities.
You must complete an accommodations request form and provide proper medical documentation from a qualified medical professional according to the guidelines available on the Office of Disability Services Web site. Forms and documentation must be received by the Office of Disability Services. The due date to have forms and documentation received and meetings finalized is February 20, 2015. The director of disability services will review your situation and make any necessary recommendations to the assistant director of residence life. Based on these recommendations and any other relevant information, the assistant director of residence life will make every effort to accommodate your disability or medical needs during the room draw process. Your specific housing preferences will be given priority whenever possible. If you already receive housing accommodations on the basis of a disability or other medical condition, you should indicate us and the disability services office of your continued need for accommodations. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Disability Services directly.
Residence Life Staff Candidates
If I am applying for a head resident, house coordinator or house community adviser position, should I participate in the housing lottery?
Yes. It is in your best interest to participate in the housing lottery as a precaution. If you choose a room and then receive a position, then you will be moved to the room in the house you were selected for. If you are not selected then you have chosen a room for yourself for the fall semester.