For Parents

Commencement  | May 25, 2014

Information about Commencement Weekend 2014 is available at

March is Housing Lottery time

After their first year, students select on-campus housing through "Lottery" (i.e., Housing Selection). Students may choose to join a Greek or program house, choose special interest housing (e.g., Tech House), be selected as a Residential Peer Advisor (and be assigned a room), enter the lottery individually to select a single room, or enter with a group of friends to select housing together. Detailed information about Lottery is available on the Residential Life website.

First-year students may be particularly stressed by Lottery. Many move into second semester feeling more comfortable at Brown; we then unsettle everything by asking them to select roommates and rooms for sophomore year. Deciding who is in your Lottery Group can be easy or difficult. Having never been through Lottery before, the unknown is ominous. The monster under the bed becomes "I'm going to end up with a hideous room, alone, separated from all my friends." This first-year fear is not helped by the fact that older students like to share horror stories about Lottery.

Students may share their housing anxiety with parents, needing someone off campus to listen.  Most students, after unloading on a parent their worst fears and bleakest scenarios about housing, proceed to make decisions and complete their forms feeling lighter -- because they have given away their fears to someone else.  Please encourage your student to take advantage of information sessions, veteran advice, and on-line Q/A sponsored by the students on Residential Council; and to talk with their Community Director or a staff member in Residential Life for information and problem solving assistance.

Housing Selection occurs by seniority, so upper-year students do select rooms first, and first-years select last.  The majority of juniors request and receive permission to live off-campus for their senior year, and are not in Lottery. Sophomores and juniors compete for suites, apartments, and desirable singles. Recent improvements to help first-years selecting rooms include designating residence halls specifically for sophomores, so more sophomores may live together; and eliminating randomly-located single rooms in the midst of first-year halls, isolated from other sophomores, that students feared they would be "stuck in." 

This site is a joint effort of the offices of Campus Life, the Dean of the College, and the Parent Program in Advancement.