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Letter to the Editor: Room Draw changes reflect time of transition on campus

<h5>An archway near the Rocky entrance of Rocky-Mathey dining hall</h5>
<h6>Rebecca Cao / The Daily Princetonian</h6>
An archway near the Rocky entrance of Rocky-Mathey dining hall
Rebecca Cao / The Daily Princetonian

To the Editor:

As Room Draw moves into the room selection phase, students may wonder why there were so many changes this year. We'd like to take this space to give an answer. In short, this spring’s room draw reflects the impacts of four significant programmatic changes that begin this fall. They are: 

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  1. The University’s transition to a fully integrated four-year college system
  2. The expansion of the undergraduate population by 500 students over four years, beginning with 125 in the Class of 2026
  3. The opening of New College East and New College West and the demolition of First College (which will have the net impact of increasing the undergraduate housing inventory by 500 beds)
  4. The decoupling of housing and dining for current juniors and seniors who draw into the residential colleges

The implementation of any one of these changes would have a major impact on Room Draw, but the advent of all four changes at the same time has led to the significant shifts in the way Room Draw functions this year, particularly for juniors and seniors.

This year’s changes mark the beginning of a multi-year transition period that will culminate with the fall 2026 opening of Hobson College as the University’s eighth residential college. The opening of Hobson will mark the completion of a fully realized four-year residential college system, in which all students will have the option to continue living in their assigned residential college for all four years or draw into unaffiliated upper-class housing.

During this period of construction and expansion, shifts in the residential college bed capacity will gradually accommodate more juniors and seniors. In this first transition year, while we experiment with increased capacity for upper-class students, we have created an open draw in which any rising junior or rising senior can draw into any college. Additionally, rising juniors and rising seniors (as well as Class of 2025 students when they become juniors) will be able to select rooms in the residential colleges with no requirement to purchase a meal plan. This spring’s draw will provide informative data to help manage the undergraduate inventory during the years until Hobson’s completion.

Room Draw may undergo further changes over the next few years as we manage significant institutional change. We will learn from this year’s draw and seek student input in the development, communication, and implementation of any further changes.

Students requiring assistance during their draw times can use the chat feature which will be located on the Housing Office website or call (609) 258-8300.  Either method will connect students with staff who can assist with questions. As always, students can submit any questions or concerns to askhousing@princeton.edu.

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I wish you all the best for the rest of your spring semester.

Dorian Johnson is the Director of Housing at Princeton University.

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