Housing 101: Best on campus

It’s almost time for students at the College of William and Mary to play their second favorite game (next to the race to registration): the housing lottery. If you haven’t already been kicked out of the game, or bumped, then prepare yourself, because at the end of the week where you will be living for an entire year all comes down to how fast you can click a button. Well, how fast can you click a button and seniority.

When you enter your time slot on Banner, you will be faced with a series of choices. Remember to continually check which rooms are available before your time slot, so you don’t try to click on your dream room only to find out it has already been snatched. You need to be prepared to fight for what is still available, whether you are choosing which unit to live in or trying to decide between Tribe Square or Jamestown.

For a fickle friend like the housing lottery, strategy is imperative. Plan out which dorm you would like to live in realistically. Keep a list of the nicest dorms you think you can get, but extend the list down to the worst-case scenario.

Tribe Square. The Dream House. Unattainable for most, desired by all. The only realistic candidates who will get to live in the 14 four-bedroom apartments — complete with singles, bathtubs, personal kitchens and living areas — are the rising seniors with the first couple of time slots. The Lodges, a close second, also belong to rising seniors. These are located in the exact center of campus, but they require exactly seven housemates. Beware of cockroaches and of the temptation to overspend at your new next-door neighbor, the Daily Grind.

Jamestown is the more realistic, but still appealing choice for upperclassmen. Jamestown North and South both feature rooms that are new, large and beautiful. They have hall and suite bathrooms, study and social lounges galore, laundry rooms with plenty of machines and even a piano practice room for the musically inclined. With a short walking distance to Swem and the Integrated Science Center and equal distance between old and new campus classrooms, Jamestown is a tempting choice for those with the lottery number to win it.

After Jamestown, Landrum is a solid selection for upperclassmen girls. Sorry boys, the big rooms and cushy parlor study lounge are reserved for the female student population unless you want to live in the eco-house basement. If you’re dying to be in the Landrum location, Chandler is a solid second. The inside is a little gray, but a host of overcrowds and high-ceilinged rooms make this dorm a good option. Next up is the Bryan Complex, comprised of one large building and four smaller similar buildings. Another upperclassmen dorm nearby is Old Dominion. All of the dorms are relatively new. The smaller dorms in Bryan (Camm, Madison, Dawson, and Stith) and Old Dominion have hall baths, but Bryan Hall has suites for post-freshman hall friends trying to stick together hall.

If you are really getting down to the wire with your options, Brown Hall and the Wendy and Emery Reves Center for International Studies, both located on the edge of Old Campus and Colonial Williamsburg, are far away for some but have spacious rooms. If you love cider walks and the Marketplace, these dorms are for you. The Randolph Complex is also not a bad idea for those addicted to the Student Recreation Center and Caf food. Randolph also boasts a small number of apartments for friends interested in living with more than one roommate.

Now that we have reached the end of the preferred-housing list, I’m sorry to say that for some of you, the units will be your new home. I don’t really know how to rank these because they are all equally awful, but if you can manage to stay away from larger fraternities, you may sleep better on the weekends. Bring pesticide and beware of cockroaches. Best of luck.


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