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Radcliffe Lottery


Last week Radcliffe students drew lots to determine who would get the first shot at living quarters for the coming school year. Lot-drawing is carried out by classes, and a ratio of the four classes is maintained in each dormitory. While this is seemingly a simple and equitable system for assigning rooms, one flaw makes the current method unfair.

This is the ruling permitting groups up to six to use the best, or lowest, number drawn by one of the group. The rule was instituted to allow congeniality in the dorms. Yet this clause can result in an injustice to the girl who wants to move alone on her own or with a single roommate.

Girls with low numbers have found themselves especially popular this week. Those who would normally move with one or two friends have been approached by unluckier acquaintances who want to get in under the quota of six. If the five top girls in a class each apply for the same dormitory, and each takes with her a group of six, the class limit in that dormitory will be more than filled. The sixth highest girl of the entire class can find herself out of her first choice. Although this is an extreme example, the overwhelming popularity of Moors has brought some very similar scrambles.

A remedy for this cutthroat method of beating the numbers racket, which would still allow those who sincerely want to move as a group to do so, is comparatively simple. A group should submit its intention to move as a unit to the Dean of Residence prior to lot-drawing. The group would then take its chance as a unit, drawing only one number. Alternatively, a group could average its number, as Wellesley groups must do under a similar system. This would give both the individual girl and those who want the privilege of staying together an even chance to pull top priority out of the hat.

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