Tweets, Texts Improve Annual Housing Lottery

Story posted April 12, 2012

The stressful experience students endure every spring as they try to claim their top housing pick for the following year should become easier with the help of tweets and texts.

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This spring, Residential Life has set up a twitter account, @BowdoinResLife, to alert students when their lottery number is up. The office is also giving students the option of receiving phone texts. Instead of waiting hours in Daggett Lounge during lottery night for their number to be called — and watching groups of students pick off quads, quints, triples or doubles — students will receive tweets and/or phone messages close to when their number is up, according to Lisa Rendall, associate director of housing operations.

With the new Twitter account, Res Life can also tweet, and text, when houses are full. “This way, students can regroup and go to another lottery night,” Rendall says.

In the old days, Rendall says students would sometimes have to wait for three hours during the housing selection process. They’d bring a laptop or book, but Daggett Lounge could be a noisy, and at times emotional, place to study.

Residential Life is also offering tours before the housing lotteries, which start April 17 and run through April 24. Starting today, tour guides will bring groups of students through the housing options on campus. Several tours are being offered between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., leaving on the half hour.

“This will give the students a sense of what’s out there,” Rendall explains, and help hone their housing selections and strategies. So if they don’t get their first dibs, they’ll know what their second and third options should be.

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