We had a chance to ask the good folks from Housing a variety of questions, particularly about yesterday's news, and this is what's happened and what's going to happen.
University Apartment housing for seniors:
First, the title University Apartment housing is a bit of a misnomer since some of the rooms Housing will offer to interested seniors aren't actually apartments, but rather suite-styled rooms similar to those of Hartley/Wallach. In particular, six rooms from the Carlton Arms (362 Riverside Drive) will be offered for undergraduates. Carlton, although it has been part of the general lottery selection process in the past, is typically reserved for 3-2 students. Google Maps describes it as "the worst dorm in the world" but it's generally regarded as pretty desirable housing.
Housing is also opening up one University Apartment building (actual apartment-styled rooms similar to Watt/Woodbridge) at 114th Street (next to Ruggles), one at Nussbaum, and two University Apartment styled buildings on 113th Street. In total, roughly 30 to 40 beds will be made available for interested seniors. Some of the rooms are doubles, but the overwhelming majority are singles (about the size of a Watt studio single).
According to Housing, there has so far been "plenty" of interest in the rooms, and the rooms, almost definitely, will be taken entirely be seniors. Any seniors who are offered a room will be given 24 hours to decide whether or not they want to take it.
The 30-40 rooms that seniors leave for University Apartment housing will be offered to students who have already requested transfer. Roughly 8-10 seniors had requested transfer (before yesterday's news came out), and roughly 40 juniors also requested transfer (including me!). Housing will give these rooms by seniority followed by reverse lottery number, and if there are remaining rooms left (unlikely but possible), they will be offered to students on the Sophomore Waitlist.
Students on the Sophomore Waitlist:
People on the Sophomore Waitlist will be assigned Housing around Aug. 15, but almost definitely not before then. As mentioned above, there's a slight chance that some rooms the seniors vacate in favor of University Apartment housing will trickle down to sophomores. What's more likely to happen though is that sophomores will get the dorms that juniors with bad lottery numbers didn't want (Schapiro doubles, Wien singles, Harmony singles, etc.) as well as the usual selections. All students on the Sophomore Waitlist are guaranteed housing. Come September, you won't be sleeping in a box.
Non-guaranteed Housing people:
Students who aren't guaranteed housing won't be offered Housing before school starts, but will be eligible for rooms that open up during the school year.
Transfer students (from other colleges):
Slightly over 110 transfer students are coming to Columbia next year (belated congrats by the way). Housing for the most part grouped transfers together and grouped them into doubles. Transfers were offered doubles in all three of the vacated brownstones (particularly in Psi Upsilon) in addition to the usual options, but few received singles.
Columbia is also undergoing renovations in Psi Upsilon and Pike (but not AEPi), to change some rooms into doubles and others into singles.
That's it! As always questions, comments appreciated.