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Humor & Satire | Mr. Bouchard’s guide to succeeding at room draw

Humor & Satire Editor

Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 16:04

“Hell hath no fury like a rising sophomore realizing he/she’s going to be in a double next year.” (Source: The Bible, probably.) That’s right, my little droogies—unless you live in Strong, worship Satan, or bribed the heck out of Chris Roellke, it’s time for the absolute worst experience of your lives. If our nightmares and phobias consciously went out of their way to take the form of a Vassar-specific event, they would be room draw. The look on students’ faces when they realize that they were one spot away from having a single is similar to the face of a de-handed Luke Skywalker screaming “That’s not true! That’s impossible!” in The Empire Strikes Back. But even though there is literally no way to ensure a comfortable living situation for yourself next year short of claiming to be Cappy’s long-lost daughter/son/pet/carpet, my guide to room draw may provide your fractured morale with the Krazy Glue of hope.

1. When in doubt, deceive your friends.

Our Western-centric society constructs a negative connotation of the term “rat fink,” but did you know that some society…somewhere…probably doesn’t? It’s important to believe that, because nothing will improve your Room Draw experience more than a Richard III-esque manipulation of your closest peers. Convince your friend group to all try to room near each other next semester, pragmatically suggesting a less-appealing-but-easier-to-obtain hallway in your dorm (pro-tip: look for hallways smeared with donkey blood and lewd Cappy graffiti). At the last second, completely screw them over and grab a much nicer single four floors away. As I always say, mind games are just games for people with minds—let the mindless enjoy their Scrabble and baseball while we use the news of their family crises to convince them to transfer to a college closer to home.

2. Be creative with your definition of “room.”

If my humanities-focused liberal arts education has taught me anything, it’s that I will be rewarded for questioning everything and extrapolating huge amounts of detail from very little information. So, I ask you, what does a “room” mean? According to my freshman writing seminar’s discussion of Virginia Woolf, it could be any place that we feel comfortable enough to produce work or confront our private-most thoughts. And if that’s the case, or at least the case you’re willing to argue, what should stop you from drawing into the 24-Hour Room? Or UpC? Or the unimaginably terrifying basement of Chicago Hall? If I feel most comfortable shoveling Chicken Korma into my craw at Kismat, why should I be expected to live in a Jewett double instead of underneath the lunch buffet? Why is there a Wellness option for students who are uncomfortable with smoking/drinking, but no option for students who really hate walking all the way from Cushing to Skinner? I’m sure your House Advisor will be most interested to hear your thoughts on the matter.

3. The squeaky wheel gets the single.

Statistics show that time and time again, the loudest, angriest, and downright most aggressive students at room draw will receive the best room that they can possibly receive…that is, with no control over their mediocre room draw numbers. I mean, why else would otherwise level-headed kids decide to become as belligerent as heroin-injected silverback gorillas every time room draw rolls around? There has to be a method to their madness. Push smaller kids out of the way, yell at innocent strangers standing slightly in front of the floor plans hanging on the wall, severely beat close friends who took the room you wanted even though they had no idea it was what you wanted and even if they did they still should look out for their own self-interest you jerk, and generally be a horrible, spiteful person. That’ll make House Team’s job a heck of a lot easier. And if nothing else, it will burst the bubble of security and optimism too many freshmen enjoy pre-meeting-you.

4. Embrace the Dark Arts.

Eternal salvation and morality codes are fine for second-semester seniors, but we undergrads have to live one day at a time. Crack open the nearest copy of “Zarkkoun’s Underworldly Doom Manual and Cook Book” and find some horrible snake god who can guarantee you a single in exchange for humanity’s collective soul. You can enjoy the view of the ever-widening lake of fire and orphan tears in Noyes Circle from the melting window of your swanky new bachelor pad!

5. Find a back-up roommate.

Seriously though.

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