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Room Draw!

Hannah explains the Carleton process for choosing housing on campus.

Hannah explains the Carleton process for choosing housing on campus.


As the spring term comes to a close, many important things are occurring, including the infamous Room Draw. When you are a Freshman at Carleton College, Residential Life does their best to match you with someone who has similar living habits as you, and places you into a dorm room. However, once you reach the end of your Freshman days, you get to experience the joys of Room Draw!

What is Room Draw?

Since Carleton College requires you to live on campus all four years (though there are some exceptions) each year during spring term you are randomly assigned a number based on your class year. Freshman have the highest numbers, and juniors have the lowest numbers. The lower your number, the sooner you are able to pick your housing. Following the email of good news or bad news (depending on your number), you will make a roommate group, which ranges from 1-6 people. You and this lovely group of people will then “draw” the room you want on campus for next year at your designated time based on your number.

room draw email
My room draw number for this year (which I didn’t end up using because my roommate had a better number)

A bit of Carleton history…

Recently, Soren Eversoll wrote an interesting piece about room draw in The Carletonian, our student newspaper (not going to lie that’s where I got the inspiration for this blog post). Check it out to learn about when room draw was in-person (a terrifying thought!).

How does it work?

Once you have formed your roommate group, you begin the scouting and search process. Some people chose their room based on the location they are want. For example, they may want one closer to the two dining halls: Burton and LDC. Some people choose based on the vibe of the building, like bigger windows, or bigger rooms. Finally, a few people coordinate with other groups to see if a lot of friends can get into the same building. There are quiet floors, substance free floors, interest houses, a world of possibilities for housing!

First you chose which rooms you would like to live in. For me and my roommates, this selection includes looking at square footage and floor plans of a room. Some people even knock on doors of current residents to check out rooms in person! Once you have selected a few rooms you would want to live in, you wait and hope that people with better numbers don’t take them.

Once it is your time to select a room, you go on the residential life website and pick your room. Then you’re all set!

Where have I lived so far?

For a sophomore I have already lived in quite a few places. As a freshman I lived in Myers Hall on the fourth floor (known for its fantastic large windows). On top of regular dorms, we also have houses! This past Fall I lived in Geffert House, an all women’s quiet house. I lived in a flat in London in the Winter, and this Spring I lived in Faculty Club, a building where one side is home to students and one side is home to visiting faculty members. This last term I am lived in a single. It was the first time I had my own room in my entire life (shoutout to my sister and my previous roommates).

Room
A view of my single.

Up until now, I have always been living that double life. However, I have to say living in a single has really been nice. I am pretty introverted, so having space to be alone and decompress has been really great (especially after studying abroad which was lacking in alone time). That being said, it can get a bit lonely sometimes and I have really enjoyed having a roommate to chat with.

What are my plans for next year?

My Junior year I am living in Nourse Hall! I am once again living on a quiet floor (not intentionally – I just happened to be a nice room). This time I’ll live in a triple! I am so excited to live with my future roommates, and I think it is going to be a great year. Even though our number was not super great (somewhere in the 300s), we were able to get a pretty solid living option for our  third year at Carleton College.

Although I joke about it, the room draw process isn’t that bad! I have yet to be in a bad housing situation, and all of my locations had their ups and downs. At the end of the day – it’s really what you choose to make it.


Hannah is a sophomore majoring in Geology and minoring in Classics. Born and raised in Minnesota, she considers herself somewhat of an expert on MN winters. At Carleton, she fills her schedule with writing for the Admissions blog, working as a CCCE Communications Fellow, taking flute lessons, and increasing voter engagement on campus. When Hannah isn’t in class, she can be found tossing a frisbee with Syzygy, looking at rocks, reading, walking and skiing in the Arb, thrifting, and hanging out with her besties. Meet the other bloggers!