Over the past week, Yale students have shared the oft-tumultuous and painful experience of housing draw.
The process starts off with long e-mails from residential college deans detailing the complicated rules of housing. These regulations are far from standardized throughout the residential colleges, making it difficult for students wishing to move off campus with friends from other colleges to coordinate shopping for and choosing housing.
Some residential colleges also allow students to use special acceleration status, called “senior status,” to secure better rooms for themselves. This often allows students planning to live off-campus senior year to gain an advantage for their junior year — at the expense of real rising seniors. The process is also unfair because it arbitrarily links housing privileges with acceleration status, usually gained from advanced placement courses in high school. There is no justifiable reason for such a connection.
Making tough housing decisions can tear roommates apart, which is why the process should not be rushed or take place in crowded common rooms. Instead, the University should try to standardize and simplify the process as much as possible — students have plenty of other sources of stress this time of year.