Room Draw Policy 2014-15

Tables of Contents


This policy provides information about the housing selection process known as Room Draw. We hope this information helps answer questions you may have regarding Room Draw. The goal of our housing program is to provide safe, clean, and comfortable living arrangements that enhance opportunities for students to successfully achieve their academic goals at Carleton.

The Housing Selection Advisory Committee reviews the Room Draw process annually and forwards recommendations to the Office of Residential Life for consideration. The purpose of the review is to design an understandable room selection process that meets the needs of the largest number of students possible. The Office of Residential Life staff designs and implements the process by which room assignments are determined.

College Policy

As a residential college, Carleton requires all students to live in College-operated residences and participate in the College dining plan for all four years. Exceptions are made for those who are married, have children, or have been granted Northfield Option. Exemption from the College dining plan exists in several College-owned houses or with permission by the Office of Residential Life (mainly for documented medical reasons). Students who live in College housing are making a commitment to abide by College policies as outlined in the Student Handbook.

The General Housing and Residential Living Policies are the guidelines for all students who reside in College-owned housing. We encourage you to speak with the Residential Life staff in the buildings or the Residential Life office staff if you wish clarification on any of the policies.

Guiding Principles

The room selection process is guided by several principles. Students will decide what room they select on the basis of their seniority at Carleton College. As a result, members of the class of 2014 and their roommates will select their room before members of the class of 2015 and so on. The seniority and lottery process provide upper class students the opportunity to select rooms ahead of underclass students. We also remain committed to coeducational residence halls which promote better understanding of gender issues and a collegiate atmosphere. Finally, we are committed to offering special living environments to those who seek them. As a result, we will continue to offer substance-free and quiet areas. All residence halls and houses are smoke-free.

General Information

  • The charge for housing for the 2013-14 academic year was $2,093 per term or $6,279 for the year.  Rates for the upcoming 2014-15 year will be released in March 2014. College policy is that there will be no room charge refunds issued if a student leaves Carleton for any reason after the term has begun.
  • Residents of the Village Apartment spaces are charged a $25 per term laundry fee to use the washers and dryers in the apartment.

Housing Accommodations for Special Needs

Particular rooms are closed to the Room Draw process for individuals in need of special housing accommodations. There are limited housing spaces available for accommodations and priority will be given to individuals who are eligible to receive accommodations under Section 504 of the American Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the ADA, individuals must document the impact of their disability on major life activities. For example, individuals experiencing vision, physical and hearing disabilities, neurological disabilities, chronic life threatening systemic disabilities such as cancer, HIV, or Epstein Barr and/or traumatic brain injuries are eligible for academic and physical accommodations. All disabilities and medical history pertaining to the disability must be documented by a licensed and board certified medical provider with competence and expertise in the area of diagnosis. Please see the Disability Services for Students Handbook for details. Documentation for medical housing must be submitted to Residential Life by April 12, 2013.

Lottery Numbers

  • Each student receives a random, computer-generated lottery number. This number will determine the order in which students enrolled and on campus fall term will select their room. For students gone fall term, the number will be used to prioritize housing requests for their return.
  • Each lottery number consists of four digits. The first digit indicates the student's class. Numbers for rising seniors begin with 1, numbers for rising juniors begin with 2, and numbers for rising sophomores begin with 3. Lottery numbers are randomly distributed within each class. Lower numbers go through the Room Draw process first; that is, 2001 draws before 2335. Lottery Numbers are non-transferable.
  • Rooms are drawn with a single number. The person with the lowest number may draw-in other people and thus create a draw group. For example, the number 2001 can be used to draw a triple with two other people who have higher numbers. A single number can be used to draw a room of any type and with any roommate(s).
  • Lottery numbers on The Hub will be updated daily to reflect the numbers of those students who will be going through Room Draw. They are also updated live during Room Draw.
  • View the Order of the Draw from 2013-14, 2012-13, 2011-12, 2010-11 on the HUB.

Housing Proxies

Students enrolled, but off campus, must designate someone, called a housing proxy, who will be responsible for selecting their housing for the upcoming term. If you are off campus spring term, your housing proxy must be present at Room Draw when your number is called to select your room for fall term. You must designate your housing proxy on the Housing Information Request form. Residential Life staff will send Proxy Designation forms to the housing proxies indicated on your Housing Information Request. If you do not designate a proxy, Residential Life staff will house you only after all other students are housed.

Students on campus, but unable to attend room draw, must provide written permission on the Proxy Designation form for a housing proxy to use their lottery number to draw a room or to be drawn into a room. Print the form and send it with your designated housing proxy to Room Draw. They will not be able to draw a room unless they have the form in hand.

Break Housing

  • Cassat and Evans Halls are used for winter break and spring break housing, with James Hall as the overflow break housing option.

    Students drawing into Cassat and Evans Halls should be aware that their rooms may be used to house students approved to live in Winter and Spring Break Housing. All upperclass students who draw into Cassat and Evans are required to allow students needing break housing to use their rooms over the break period. Storage will be provided free of charge to students who are required to let someone use their room. If you do not wish to allow someone to stay in your room over winter or spring break, we recommend that you do not draw into Cassat or Evans Hall.

Quiet Areas

  • These areas are designed for those who seek a noise-free environment. Residents of quiet floors agree to provide (and receive) a quiet place to sleep and study at any time of the day or night.
    • Quiet Area Guidelines
      Although no area can be completely free of noise, Quiet Areas are defined as locations where noise levels are expected to be kept at a minimum and contained within student rooms 24-hours a day. Due to the nature of this living area, only small, private events where all noise and activities are contained within the residents' rooms are permitted. Quiet Areas include:

                             First Davis (11 am to 7 pm, weekdays; 1 am to 7 am weekends)                         Faculty Club                            
                             Second Nourse               

    • Consequences of Violating Guidelines
      Non-compliance with the Quiet Area Agreement at any time during the year will result in the following:
      • First Violation: Verbal warning
      • Second Violation: Written warning
      • Third violation: Additional disciplinary action possibly including housing reassignment.

Substance-Free Areas

  • These areas are available for those students who desire to live in an environment that is substance-free. Students living in a substance-free area agree that neither they nor their guests will use or possess alcohol, non-prescription or other illicit drugs or tobacco products on the floor. They also agree that if they or their guests use such substances outside of the substance-free living area, their behavior upon return will not have a negative impact upon their hall/floor community, other residents or their property and campus property.
    • Substance Free Area Guidelines
      The possession or use of alcohol, controlled substances and tobacco products by residents or their guests is prohibited in student rooms and public spaces in Substance-Free Areas. Substance-Free Areas are: 

                             Fourth Burton            Second Musser            Rice House
                             Second Cassat           Second Myers              First Watson
                             Fourth Davis             
    Third Nourse                Second Watson
                             Second Goodhue       

    • Consequences of Violating Guidelines
      Non-compliance with the stated Substance Free Area Agreement at any time during the year may result in the loss of substance-free housing and housing reassignment.


As determined by College Council, all residence halls and houses are completely smoke-free.  Smoking is not permitted within 50 feet of campus buildings, including, but not limited to, entry ways and windows.

Private Areas

Students drawing into the following areas should be aware that Custodial Services does not clean adjoining private bathrooms, private or suite/shared rooms, or apartments:

Allen, Clader, Davis, Dow, Evans, Faculty Club 012, Geffert, Hill, Memorial Suites, First Myers, Rice, Severance, the Village Apartments, and First Watson.

Meal Plans

Residing in the residence halls/houses requires that students participate in the meal plan associated with that hall/house or a higher plan (see Dining Services site for details). Residential areas are assigned a meal plan based upon the number of residents within a building and the kitchen space available.

Students with special dietary requirements or documented medical requirements which prohibit their eating in the dining halls are encouraged to seek housing which allows them the flexibility to cook their own meals. Inability to locate housing that offers a meal plan compatible with your particular needs requires completion of a Meal Plan Exemption Request Form available from Residential Life. Meal plans will not be adjusted for any reason other than documented medical reasons.
Please verify your room and meal plan assignment in The Hub after Room Draw and any time a change is made in your housing assignment or meal plan.

Housing Calendar for 2014-2015

Residence halls and houses will be available at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 12. If you wish to view the room you select, please make arrangements with the current residents to do so before leaving campus this spring. All opening and closing dates are posted on the Housing Calendar. Please plan accordingly as students are not permitted to move in prior to the official move-in date and time posted for each term.

When is Room Draw?

Room Draw takes place on May 12, 13 and 15 beginning at 6:30 p.m. each evening in Severance Great Hall. Room Draw will have 2 sessions each Night.

For the Class of 2015 - Monday, May 12th
#1001-1200 - Room Draw will begin at 6:30pm
#1201-1699 - Room Draw will begin at 8:00pm

For the Class of 2016 - Tuesday, May 13th
#2001-2200 - Room Draw will begin at 6:30pm
#2201-2699 - Room Draw will begin at 8:00pm

For the Class of 2017 - Thursday, May 15th
#3001-3200 - Room Draw will begin at 6:30pm
#3201-3699 - Room Draw will begin at 8:00pm

Housing Selection Calendar

Who is eligible to participate in Room Draw?

All members of the classes of '15 (seniors), '16 (juniors) and '17 (sophomores) who will be enrolled in classes on the Carleton campus during Fall Term 2013 are eligible to participate in Room Draw, with the exception of those approved for Northfield Option. Students who have accepted Northfield Option and wish to apply for readmission to Carleton owned housing must petition in writing by April 26.

Note: Students who have submitted the Petition-Student Review for Non-Carleton Programs form or the Off Campus Study Agreement form or who were approved for a leave of absence or withdrawal for the Fall Term are not eligible to participate in Room Draw. Questions regarding your status should be directed to the Dean of Students Office, Sevy 113, or the Off Campus Studies Office, Leighton 120. If your status changes, we must receive notification from the Off Campus Studies Office, the Registrar, or the Dean of Students office at least eight hours in advance to admit you to Room Draw. If notice is not received eight hours in advance, you will not be permitted to draw using your lottery number for placement.

What you and your roommate(s) need to know in order to draw a room:

Below are the key things important to know when drawing a room:

  1. What night you select your room.
  2. What your lottery number is (find it on The Hub) and how to use it.
  3. Think about who you want to live with, if anyone. If rooms are available, you can select singles, doubles, triples, quads, quints, or sextets. Watch the listing of available rooms as you may have to split into smaller groups. Be prepared during the Room Draw process to divide the group if necessary. If groups are not ready they may be passed for other groups to keep the process moving.
  4. Think about where you want to live. Have several ideas in mind before you come to Room Draw. You'll want to remain flexible. Available rooms may change at the very last moment. You are required to have at least 5 room options listed on your Room Draw ticket before entering the draw area.
  5. Visit the halls/rooms you're interested in living in next year. Floor plans are available on the web and copies are available at Room Draw, but they don't provide you with dimensions, show where the windows are, or how big the closets are.
  6. Refer to the Order of the Draw, located on the HUB,to view what rooms were still available when someone with the same lottery number as you selected their room.


  • If you are looking for a roommate for the next academic year, talk with your RA who may be aware of someone else who is searching for a roommate. Some students place notices in the NNB and others just talk with their friends to identify potential roommates.
  • If single rooms run out during room draw, individuals must be prepared to make a roommate selection in order to draw a room. Students are not allowed to draw into a space they cannot fully occupy (i.e. three people are needed to secure a triple room). Staff members will be available during room draw to assist with this process.

How does Room Draw work?

  • On the evening of the draw night designated for your class, you will come to Great Hall. Enter Great Hall at the west entrance--signs will be posted.
  • As you enter Great Hall you will be provided with a Room Selection Ticket and copies of the Room Lists for available room.
    • On your Room Selection Ticket:   Room Draw Ticket     
      • List your top 5 room choices  
      • List in class year order and then alphabetical order the names of proposed residents (List seniors
        alphabetically, then juniors, etc.)
      • If you are drawing into a suite or an apartment, rooms are numbered with a three-digit number and a letter (i.e., 100A, 100B, 100C). To assure that students are listed in the directory with the correct phone number, we must verify the room assignments within the suite and apartments. If you intend to draw into a suite or apartment, be prepared to indicate which student will be residing in each of the rooms within the suite/apartment. Please check the floor plans to determine exact room assignments prior to drawing rooms.
      • Make sure all 4 digits of the draw number that is being used to draw the room are listed at the bottom of your ticket. Please put a star next to the name of the person whose number is being used to draw the room.
    • Make sure your ticket is filled out before you enter the line and keep it updated as you approach the draw area so you do not slow down the process. If you card is not filled out, you won't be allowed into the draw area and groups behind you will be allowed to skip ahead of you.
  • All people expecting to draw or be drawn into a space should attend Room Draw. The person (or his/her housing proxy) whose number is being used to draw a room MUST ATTEND DRAW unless on an off campus program or leave of absence.
  • If any person expecting to draw or be drawn into a room cannot attend Room Draw, he/she must designate someone as a housing proxy and provide that person with written authorization to act on their behalf using a Proxy Designation form available on this website.  If your entire group is not present at your time to draw or you do not have the proper paperwork, you will be pulled aside and not allowed into the draw area. Groups behind you will be allowed to progress.
  • The person whose number is used to draw a room will not be eligible for a room change out of the room until winter term.
  • We suggest that all those who plan to room together attend Room Draw and work together to select a location that they want. As an example, four women plan to live together in a quad. All four would decide to attend Room Draw as a group. The person who has the best number of the group is either present or has provided written authorization to another person in the group to act on her behalf. The group would then proceed to the waiting area to select a room.
  • If all members of a group who are drawing a space together cannot be present at Room Draw, the group MUST have a Proxy Designation allowing the absent person(s) to be drawn into the space. The form should also indicate if there are any stipulations about the type of spaces the absent person does or does not want to be drawn into. Individuals not physically present at Room Draw will not be allowed to be drawn into a spaces if a Proxy Designation form is not submitted.
  • Please make your final selections carefully. After a room is drawn, it is announced and crossed off the floor plans on the overheads in Great Hall and updated online. Once you have selected a room and it is recorded in our books and you leave the draw area, you may not change your mind. The room drawn will be the entire group's housing assignment for fall term. If anyone from the group that drew into the room requests to be released from the room for any reason, the entire group will lose the space and their order in the draw. Groups may not substitute other individuals after the room has been drawn.
  • It is not possible to switch rooms or roommates after you are done drawing.
  • Be aware of contract areas as you are drawing in.  These include quiet, sub free, and break housing areas. By drawing into these areas, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of these spaces. If you are unclear about these expectations, make sure you ask a staff member.
  • The listing of available rooms will be updated during Room Draw. Because some rooms are not designated for a particular gender, it may be necessary to adjust male and female rooms. For that reason, we encourage you to check the listing after 1 p.m. on the day you will draw a room.
  • When necessary, short breaks will be taken each night to crosscheck records. Any mistakes will be discovered and necessary changes will be made.
  • Disruptive or uncivil behavior will not be tolerated and will result in loss of Room Draw privileges.

    • If questions or concerns arise during Room Draw, you must speak to a professional member of the Residential Life staff (watch for the Room Draw t-shirts). Final and official decisions about Room Draw are made by the Director of Residential Life.
    • After you have drawn your room, please confirm your housing assignment and meal plan selection on The Hub.

What is available for draw?


Apartment groups are co-ed by apartment. Residents must decide who will be living in each individual room within the apartment. Clader House, Dow House, Faculty Club 012, Memorial Suites, Page House West, Sevy Suites, and the Village Apartments are facilities that are available to be drawn as apartment groups.

Campus Houses

Areas are co-ed and open to all but first year students. Minimum meal plan options and contract areas locations are listed under the floor plans for each facility.

Residence Halls

Areas are co-ed and open to all classes unless otherwise noted. Minimum dining plan options and contract areas are listed under the floor plans for each facility. Clicking on floors will open up a floor plan.

  • View Floor Plans
  • View Available Rooms--The listing of available rooms will be posted the first week of May.

Institutional Houses, the Language House, Dacie Moses & Shared Interest Houses
See the Interest Houses page to see the list of current Institutional Houses and Shared Interest Houses. If you are interested in living in the Language House go to the Language Department's Language House Site.  If you are interested in one of these organizations, please contact the leadership of the respective house. The spaces available in these houses are assigned prior to Room Draw.

Room Designation

The College puts great value in the coeducational living environment. The Office of Residential Life staff members strive to achieve an even balance of males and females residing on each floor or in each living area. At the same time, we want to give students as many choices as possible in determining their living arrangements. All high capacity rooms (quads, quints, and sextets) will not have a gender designation on them for room draw. These rooms will be open to any groups of students to draw into. 

Because we believe it is important to keep an appropriate gender balance in all of our communities, we do find it necessary to specifically designate male and female spaces in each community. As space allows on each floor, there will be some double rooms designated for male, some for female, and some that can be drawn in any designation. Single rooms will continue to be designated by gender so that an equal number of single rooms are available to both women and men.

Specific lists of rooms available for male, female, or co-ed housing will be updated on this website in the first week of May and will be updated daily. It is possible that, in order to keep a gender balance in a particular community or to allow for all students to attempt to draw a room during room draw, some rooms may be switched from one gender to the other at the start of the night's draw. Please make sure to check the overheads during room draw to see the most current room listings before you go through draw.

Don't go to room draw without:

  • The person whose number is being used to draw a room, their proxy or a Proxy Designation form from that person.
  • All the people who are hoping to be drawn into a suite/apartment or a Proxy Designation(s) from anyone not able to attend Room Draw.
  • Several choices of rooms that are available for draw.

If you want to know more, do not rely on rumors. Stop by Residential Life, Sevy G10, or talk with a Housing Selection Advisory Committee Member.

Are you confused by any or all of this?

No worries, there will be members of the Housing Selection Advisory Committee stopping by study breaks to answer your questions.  Be sure to attend your study breaks in the 3 weeks leading up to Room Draw!

Life After Draw. . .

  • Do not worry if you are not able to select a room during Room Draw! It is quite common that we run short of rooms this early in our preparation for the next academic year. Knowing this, we do not panic. Likewise, we ask you not to panic either. We anticipate students leaving school over the summer or being accepted to off-campus programs.
  • A couple of days after Room Draw, we will send a letter and a form to any student who was not able to draw a room. The form will ask the student to list their housing preferences (everything from building preference, sub-free/quiet needs, roommate preference, etc.) and return it to our office. All enrolled students are guaranteed a room and will have one before they arrive on campus for fall term. Housing assignments will be confirmed early to mid-August.
  • Students may draw only once and are expected to live in the room that they draw for fall term unless an individual withdraws from the College. Students may arrange for housing adjustments with the Area Directors once fall term begins. All students must remain in their selected room until the housing freeze has been lifted for fall term. Unauthorized room changes/moves will result in the students being required to move back to their assigned room for the term and either the forfeiture of their lottery number for the following year or movement to the bottom of the Northfield Option Wait List.
  • What happens if one of my chosen roommates decides not to attend Carleton in the fall? Someone who remains without a housing assignment will likely be placed in your room during the summer months. We frequently have students who are readmitted or who for some reason remain unhoused after Room Draw. It is this group of students who will be placed in any vacancies that occur within rooms during the summer months.
  • What happens if I miss Room Draw? If you are a senior or junior, you may come the following evening. The numbers of any students who missed Room Draw the night before are called before we begin with the assigned class year’s lottery numbers. You will want to show up promptly at 6:30 so you can go through Room Draw prior to the class year scheduled to draw that evening.

Related Documents

Housing Information Request Forms
If you will be off campus for a term and will be living in College-owned housing when you return, you will need to complete this form designating a proxy and providing information on the type of housing you are requesting for your return. The person whom you designate as your housing proxy will be responsible for securing housing for your return. If Residential Life do not have the name of a housing proxy, you are not eligible to be drawn into any housing on campus. You will be among the last people housed for the term you intend to return.

Quiet Area Agreement
Quiet areas are defined as locations where noise is expected to be contained within student rooms 24 hours a day.

Substance Free Agreement
Substance Free areas are those designated as a place free of alcohol, tobacco and/or any illegal drugs.

Proxy Designation
This is the form to be submitted if you are on campus and unable to attend Room Draw. The person who is securing a room on your behalf must present this form which gives them permission to accept a housing assignment.

Summer Placement
If you choose not to attend Room Draw, you are still guaranteed a room and will be assigned one during the summer months. Please provide us with the information requested, print the form, and return it to Residential Life by May 24.