The Shaft
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A few weeks ago, the Residence Hall Leadership Organization sent out an email reminder to all  Columbia College and SEAS students to register for 2021-22 room selection, which included a few key dates and YouTube videos on new residence halls. However, there’s still plenty of uncertainty surrounding how COVID-19 will affect registration and residence hall policies.

To get answers on how the pandemic will affect our next semester, we met with RHLO and discussed the changes made to housing for the next academic year. Here’s what you need to know.

What are the logistics of room selection?

By now, groups have already been formed and lottery numbers have been sent out. Selection is next, and with appointments starting Monday, make sure to keep the following tips in mind.

Before their registration appointment, groups should pick at least three dorm options. These options should be clearly communicated to the group leader, who will have 10 minutes to register their group into suites on Columbia Housing’s online portal.

Group leaders also choose dorm rooms, so make sure that your group is in agreement on who gets which room in the suite.

What happens if a group doesn’t select a suite during their appointment time?

Group leaders will still have the ability to select if they miss their 10-minute appointment time. Keep in mind that room selection is first come, first served, meaning you won’t have exclusive access in the portal should you log in after your set appointment time.

Who can be a group leader?

Group leaders can assign group leader status to anyone in their housing group prior to logging in during the assigned registration period. If you want to switch group leaders, the existing group leader is the only one who can assign the position to another group member.

While Barnard seniors can be in a mixed group with sophomores, juniors and seniors from Columbia College or the School of Engineering and Applied Science, they cannot be the group leaders. In other words, only Columbia College and SEAS students can have group leader status in mixed groups.

What happens if you’re waitlisted?

If you’re waitlisted, you’ve probably found yourself at the bottom of the lottery and couldn’t select a room during the housing selection period. But don’t fret. Waitlisted students frequently get a better room than many in their class year. Additionally, Columbia Housing works to keep as many groups in the same building and floor as possible, so groups on the waitlist are not likely to be split up.

In a non-pandemic year, you’d be notified of your position on the waitlists around July and your housing selection would be finalized by summer.

Which dorms will be unavailable this year?

Unfortunately, Wallach and Hartley will be open only to first-years during 2021-22. They will be available for waitlisted students after the incoming first-year class gets housing assignments.

This also means that the Living Learning Center program is canceled for next year.

We hope this article makes your registration process smoother and less stressful. Even though on-campus life seems far off, we can look forward to next year, spending time among friends and in our dorms. Let’s hope to see each other back on college grounds!

Staff writer Emma Cho can be contacted at emma.cho@columbiaspectator.com. Follow her on Twitter @emsoojin. Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

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Housing The Shaft RHLO Waitlist Selection Room Selection Housing selection Housing Timeline FAQs Columbia Housing Appointment time COVID-19 COVID pandemic
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