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A glimpse into registrar, housing office strategy

It's been said that today's youth face many more obstacles and hazards in their daily lives than their parents did. The baby-boom generation did not worry about AIDS, global warming or whether to shop at the Gap or Urban Outfitters. Today's Princeton students face particular adversity, and one of their most formidable foes is the Office of the Registrar.

Disturbed by the fact that I put all nine of my junior points towards the limited enrollment class MAT 617 (Impossible and Very Boring Equations – Maximum Enrollment, 300 Students) and still did not get in, I decided to spy on C. Anthony Broh and his Broh-thers in arms and find out just what one has to do to get into a limited enrollment course.


But I ended up learning something else. Here's what went down at a recent meeting of the registrar and his staff.

C. ANTHONY BROH: Listen up, yo. If we're going to have finals after winter break every year, why don't we just put spring term finals after summer vacation?

REGISTRAR WORKER #1: Good idea, C. we can start by making summer vacation one week longer and winter vacation one week shorter. After a few years, the students won't notice, and we can just switch finals to the first week of September, right before classes begin.

C. A. B.: I'm down with that, my man!

R. W. #2: Yo, Broh! Why don't we move the month of January in between August and September. Then the students can take their finals for both semesters consecutively.

C. A. B.: That sounds like a killer plan, dude.


R. W. #3: Won't that ruin the students' vacation? They'll have to spend the entire summer studying.

C. A. B.: You're fired.

So that's how things work at the registrar. But what about the other office on campus that makes living at Princeton so difficult? Right. The housing office. I decided to do some research and find out why 60 members of the Class of 2000 don't have rooms for next year.

It turns out that the housing office uses a very complicated mathematical method for calculating the number of rooms they need to make available each year (for you lucky ones, this method will be taught in MAT 617).

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First, they begin with the number of rooms. Then they subtract from that number the number of students who need rooms. Then they run this number through an algorithm which produces the exact number of excess students (as compared to rooms) with an error of plus or minus 60.

So the fact that there are 60 rising juniors without housing makes perfect sense and demonstrates the accuracy of the housing department's calculations (plus or minus 60, of course).

I called the Office of Religious life to get their take on the housing situation. They told me it's all part of something they like to call "Armageddon." It was explained to me that after the class of 2000 graduates, the world will come to an end.

And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that all the signs are there: The class of 2000 was the first sophomore class to lose at Cane Spree, the first class (probably since prohibition) to experience dry bicker and the first sophomore class not to participate in the Nude Olympics since its conception. Don't forget that we also had the lowest acceptance rate of any class, making us some kind of odd chosen people.

When I called the housing office, I kept getting a recorded message that said, "If you're calling about room draw, press 666." So I pressed 666 and got another message. "Happy is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and happy those who listen if they take to heart what is here written; for the time of fulfillment is near."

I guess that means we're going to get our rooms after all.