I read in the Stanford Daily today that five freshman girls from Donner got the top pick in the housing draw: lucky number five. They’ll be living in Bob next year.
The Housing Draw was very different when I was a student. Back in the day, you wrote out your list of preferred houses before you got your number and assignment. Today, I believe you get your number first before you choose any of your houses. This of course allows you much more choice in the matter.
When I was a freshman, also in Donner, I drew 2455. Preferred numbers then went from 1-3000, so getting 2455 was pretty crappy. I had Hammarskjold ranked number one on my list. Hammarskjold, the international co-op, you say? My top two goals was to live in a house and have an in-room network connection, and Hammarskjold met both of those goals. It’s hard to believe that back in 1994, many on-campus residences at Stanford did not have in-room network connections! Oh, the horror!
Sadly, the cutoff for the Hammarskjold was 2432, meaning I just missed out. 2455 was “good enough” to get into Okada, my last choice, but I really didn’t want to live there. Though Okada did have in-room network connections, it was right next to the Teahouse where I worked and was predominantly Asian. I wanted my Stanford experience to be a little more culturally diverse, so I placed my name into the waiting list and crossed my fingers.
Throughout the summer, I checked Axess daily for updates of my new housing placement. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned I was going to live in Xanadu. Along with Bob, Xanadu is one of the most desired Row houses, regularly drawing numbers less than 300. To have a number like 2455 and to get into Xanadu was pretty remarkable, but it wasn’t the last time that I would circumvent the dreaded housing draw.
I was overseas in Paris at the beginning of my junior year. As a result, I submitted my name into the waiting list for Winter Quarter. When the bell tolled, I was placed into 353 Campus Drive, the former Delt House that’s now called Narnia. It turns out the Delts hadn’t been paying their bills and were booted from the house. Though my draw number was over 2000 again, I lucked out again in the draw.
My final year was spent at the French House, where I was the Theme Associate. I felt my luck was running out with the waiting list, so I aced the interview and got to live in another Row house. My time in Xanadu, 353 Campus, and the French House was overall great. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to have lived in dormitories during those final three years.
It goes to show that you always have a choice in the matter when it comes to your housing options at Stanford!