Room Draw Policy 2017-2018

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.

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 2017 and their roommates will select their room before members of the class of 2020 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 2016-17 academic year was $2,288.00 per term or $6,864 for the year.  Rates for the upcoming 2017-18 year will be released in March 2017. 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 Townhouse and most house spaces and 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. Please see Disability Services for details. 

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).

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:

      Faculty Club  
      Geffert House
      Second Floor Nourse              

      First Floor Davis (11 am to 7 pm, weekdays;
                                       1 am to 7 am weekends)    

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:

    Substance-Free Areas are:

    • Burton-Fourth Floor
    • Cassat-Second Floor
    • Davis-Fourth Floor
    • Evans-Fourth Floor
    • Goodhue-Second Floor
    • Musser-Second Floor
    • Myers-Second Floor
    • Nourse-Third Floor
    • Rice House
    • Watson-First Floor
    • Watson-Second Floor

    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, Chaney, Davis, Dow, Evans, Faculty Club 012, Geffert, James, First Myers, Rice, Severance, the Village Apartments, 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 students to work with Disability Services for an accommodation. 

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 2016-2017

Residence halls and houses will be available at 10 a.m. on Monday, September 11. 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?

Beginning with the 2016-2017 academic year, Room Draw will be an online process that occurs in May.  Further details will be provided closer to that time.

Housing Selection Calendar

Who is eligible to participate in Room Draw?

All members of the classes of '17 (seniors), '18 (juniors) and '19 (sophomores) who will be enrolled in classes on the Carleton campus during Fall Term 2017 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 Monday, April 24.

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 by Monday, April 24. In the event of any change after that date, you will be added to the room draw process at the end of your class.


  • 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).
  • You can also view profiles of other students and contact them through the Residence (online room draw system) homepage.

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, James Suites, Page House West, Sevy Suites, and the Townhouses 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.

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 a 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 all students who identify as men and all students who identify as women.

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.

If you want to know more, do not rely on rumors. Stop by Residential Life, Sevy G10, or send an email to

Life After Draw. . .

  • 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.

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.

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 29.