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Students apply for transfer to Duncan Hall

Rohan Anand | Monday, February 4, 2008

Nearly 200 students are expected to apply to live in Duncan Hall this August, according to the Office of Residence Life and Housing, which will draw 150 winning numbers after the lottery closes Thursday.

Students selected to live in the new male residence hall, currently under construction just west of McGlinn Hall, will choose from singles, doubles, triples and quads, as well as “super-doubles” with large bay windows for extra space and “super-quads,” which contain private bathrooms.

Duncan Hall, the fifth addition to West Quad, will be the only dormitory built at Notre Dame in more than a decade. It will accommodate approximately 234 men. The Office of Residence Life and Housing began accepting applications for the lottery, which is open to all class levels, last Monday.

“There were a couple of glitches when the Web site opened on Monday,” Director of Residence Life Jeff Shoup said last week, “but it’s been smooth sailing since. We understand that there has been a lot of confusion about the lottery process for Duncan, especially for current freshmen who have not been through the room pick process like upperclassmen.”

About 158 applications had been submitted for the lottery as of Thursday, Shoup said, but he expects that number to reach 190 since some applicants put down names of preferred roommates who had not yet submitted their own applications.

The 150 students who win the lottery will be able to choose up to three preferred roommates; however, each roommate has to fill out his own application in order for to be eligible to enter the lottery drawing.

“This will insure that even if only one member within the group of four wins a lottery ticket, all of the roommates stated on the application will be guaranteed a space in Duncan,” Shoup said. “It’s a mutual all-or-none thing.”

However, groups larger than four will not be considered together. For example, Shoup said, if eight freshmen were interested in Duncan, they would have to apply in two groups of four. If only one group won the lottery, then the two groups would be forced to live separately next year.

Though ideally ORLH would like to announce the results on Friday, the day after the deadline, Shoup said that accounting for any incomplete applications as well as other factors might delay the announcement until Feb. 11.

“One thing we have to consider is that we cannot issue winning tickets that might [take a majority of] students from one hall,” Shoup said. “For instance, if 50 residents from Sorin Hall, which only has 110 residents, win the lottery, we will deplete their population by a lot. We also cannot do things like take in 80 seniors because that means we will have to fill a larger-than-average freshman class in Duncan the following year once the seniors graduate.”

Shoup said the ORLH might have to conduct an additional screening process after it draws the 150 winning numbers to insure these imbalances do not occur. While he did not specify how that screening would work, he said the process would be “very fair.”

“The only way that we can prevent running into any problems is to attract a very diverse pool of applicants from all dorms and grade levels to make things easier for everybody,” he said.

Shoup said he has not yet looked closely at the breakdown of the applications to identify if any imbalances are occurring; right now, ORLH is more concerned with providing general information to students interested in the lottery as well as assisting those who are having difficulties with the online system.

Once the 150 winners have been determined, the next stage of the process will be room selections. Room picks will take place on two separate nights with rising seniors and juniors eligible to pick on Feb. 27 and rising sophomores choosing the next night.

“We are also working on planning some kind of social – in the form of a game watch or something-in between Feb. 11 and Feb. 27 so prospective Duncan residents can get the chance to meet each other,” Shoup said.

He noted, however, that students who receive winning lottery tickets are not guaranteed the room type or roommates they requested. As with any regular inter-hall room picks, upperclassmen have first dibs on room selections, and popular choices such as quads or singles may be all taken before underclassmen can choose those options.

“There may be situations where quads will have to split into doubles or triples,” Shoup said. “We have all of this information listed on the FAQ section of the ORLH Web site, so applicants are generally aware of this.”

He also said that incoming freshmen will not be assigned to any of the super-quads, super-doubles, or singles, in order to stay consistent with dorm tradition on campus.

“Our philosophy all along is to have a ladder-system so that you may not have the best room as a freshman but you will have a better room the longer you stay in the dorm,” Shoup said.

Students who wish to apply for the lottery to live in Duncan next year have until Thursday to fill out an online application.