News | Student Life

Students celebrate, and lament, housing lottery numbers

  • Kiera Wood / Senior Staff Photographer
    WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS | From left: Logan Pirkl, CC '15, Andrew Rodriguez, CC '15, Ruchir Khaitan, SEAS '15, Byron Weiss, SEAS '15, and Noyan Songur, SEAS '15 (not pictured), received the highest lottery number for the housing lottery and hope to pick into an East Campus suite.

“Our motto was ‘ride together, die together,’” said Julian Radice, SEAS ’17, of his housing group.

“And I think we died together,” Drew May, CC ’17, added.

Like many other Columbia students, Radice, May, and the rest of their group—Junhe Li, CC ’17, Nikita Bondarenko, CC ’17, Thomas Norman, CC ’17, and Connor Fraser, CC ’17—eagerly logged on to the Housing website to find out their housing fate when lottery numbers were released shortly before 11 a.m. on Monday.

But the group of first-years found out that they’d be picking last in this year’s in-person selection with a number of 10/3000.

Fraser said that he and his friends were in disbelief when they first learned of their fate in Frontiers of Science.

“I was like, ‘This can’t be right,’” Fraser said. “And then eventually we realized it was real and that we were fucked.”

Fraser said that their situation had to be part of some “divine plan.”

“We realized it was so bad that it had to be meant to be,” Radice added.

But, on the other end of the lottery number spectrum, Andrew Rodriguez, CC ’15, said he’s “walking on sunshine” after finding out that his group would have the prime pick with a lottery number of 30/8.

Rodriguez’s group, which includes Logan Pirkl, CC ’15, Ruchir Khaitan, SEAS ’15, Byron Weiss, SEAS ’15, and Noyan Songur, SEAS ’15, have set their sights on an all-single suite on the top floor of East Campus.

“I didn’t even know the numbers had gone up—I got a text from someone else and was like, ‘Nah, I’ll check it later,’” Rodriguez said.

Needless to say, the future suitemates were thrilled when they did log on to check their lottery number.

“This is the happiest day of our lives,” Khaitan said, who added that he’s looking forward to living with his friends next year.

Rodriguez had some advice for students hoping to win big in the housing lottery next year.

“Care as little as possible,” he said.

As for members of the losing group, they’re unsure of what their next move will be.

“When you’re this low how do you even have a game plan?” Norman said. “I think you just hope for the best.”

Li said that the group is banking on getting waitlisted—but they’re not counting out other alternatives.

“Maybe we’ll just zipline in from an apartment in Edgewater,” Li said. 

emma.bogler@columbiaspectator.com  |  @ebbogz

Correction: A previous version of this article omitted Connor Fraser's first name, school, and year. Spectator regrets the error.

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