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Residential Council Minutes :: January 27, 2009

Present: James Reed (Chair), Greg Anderson (Policy Chair), Mark Fuller (Program House Chair), Ben Lowell (Lottery Chair), Jillian Robbins (Secretary), Sophie Asher, Jerry Cedrone, EJ Chung, Paige Hicks, Chaz Kelsh, Adam Lewin, Mike Sokolovsky, Jane Zhang

Guests: Dean Tom Forsberg, Dean Richard Bova, Natalie Basil, Jenna Sousa

Welcome Back, Rescouncilors!

Introduction by Dean Bova:

  • This semester, a lot of what ResCouncil will be working on is the housing lottery
  • We will continue discussing the move to IPTV
  • We will also continue the conversation about making Brown students feel less cramped in their housing units (keeping lounges, keeping the number of one room triples and quads low, etc.)
  • Dean Klawunn will be returning to continue our discussion about the residential experience
  • It is important that the members of ResCouncil bring issues students are talking about to ResLife

Discussion with Natalie Basil and Jenna Sousa concerning the Housing Lottery:

  • Lottery is ResLife's big project in the spring
  • Housing selection is an exciting time among students
  • It can be stressful, and therefore we have to make sure we provide the correct information to students in the Brown community
  • It is important that we talk about the realities of the process and what students should expect, especially with rising sophomores
    • we need to encourage students to be as realistic as possible during this process and do to research and go on dorm tours
  • The council has not recommended any significant changes to the housing lottery process from last year
  • ResLife is instating one significant change to the system:
    • in years past, we have had a summer waitlist system
    • this system will no longer exist
  • Instead, we will have a Summer Assignment Process, where students who are not assigned housing at the lottery will complete Housing Preference Forms and will be assigned housing over the summer
    • housing is guaranteed at Brown, and the term 'waitlist' implies that students may not receive housing
  • Students will hopefully be informed of their housing assignment by the second week of August
    • however, in early August, a fair number of students are still unsure if they will be returning to Brown
    • ResLife waits to hear the most current information from the university on who is returning so that students involved in the Summer Assignment Process can receiving housing that is as close to their first choice as possible
  • This year, there will be no significant changes in the Gender Neutral Housing policy (the language on the forms will not change, the number of dorms included in this plan will not expand)
    • when Gender Neutral Housing is expanded, Hegeman will probably be converted to gender neutral

Important Dates:

  • March 3, 2009 - Super Deadline Day
  • April 2, 2009 and April 6, 2009 - Lottery
    • we are waiting to hear back from the Scheduling Office to confirm the location of Lottery

During Lottery:

  • It is expected that members of ResCouncil be open and available to answer questions
  • There will be a giant screen that will be constantly updated in the lobby of where Lottery occurs
  • The Lottery will also be posted online
  • There will be a table at Lottery with the floorplans of all dorms - members of ResCouncil will work at that table
  • It would be ideal for members of ResCouncil to work at the front desk in the ResLife Office for a few hours a day during the week before Lottery to answer questions of students
    • students tend to want answers from other students because students want to know about what living in a certain dorm is actually like
  • ResLife's goal is to decrease stress and anxiety among students

If You are Planning on Going Abroad:

  • If you are planning on going abroad in the fall, and are more than 75% certain that this will occur, you should not go through Lottery
  • However, if you have any significant uncertainty about abroad plans, you should go through the housing lottery

Off Campus Housing:

  • About 1100 students applied for off-campus housing
  • All seniors have been approved
  • The junior lottery process occurred - some juniors were approved, some were put on a waitlist
    • rising juniors can still apply for off-campus permission and be added to the waitlist - they have this option until Super Deadline Day (March 3)

Thoughts for the future:

  • How can we make this process more user family for families? How can information about dorm options be more accessible to parents? ResLife has found that more students have been consulting their parents for advice about housing

End of Meeting

Submitted by Jillian Robbins, Residential Council Secretary 2008-2009