Pomona College students who lived in Lawry or Clark I dorms this year were given a 25 percent reduction in their room draw numbers due to their proximity to the construction at Claremont McKenna College and Pomona, according to Housing Director Deanna Bos.
“The College acknowledges that the noise of construction created a more negative impact than anticipated,” Bos said. “It came from realizing we couldn’t mitigate the noise.”
Some students who received worse numbers expressed dissatisfaction with the policy change.
“I think it’s ill-advised to consider any variable other than past room draw numbers when making adjustments,” said Kasey Grewe PO ’11, who received one of the highest numbers in her class.
“There are many imperfect living situations, and we make compromises,” Grewe said. “It seems strange that the various sacrifices juniors make should be treated differently.”
Cortlyn Authement PO ’11, who also received a high number, objected to the late timing of the policy change and lack of clarity surrounding the room draw process.
“It was unfortunate if not irresponsible that the policy was announced right before room draw, instead of last year when housing choices were made,” he said. “That said, I don’t think information regarding this policy of bettering room draw numbers has been made adequately available.”
Nina Vertlib PO ’11 agreed.
“I didn’t realize that juniors who lived near construction got preference for room draw,” she said. “The Office of Campus Life needs to be considerably more transparent about their decisions.”
Vertlib also pointed out that students who chose to live near construction this year were informed of the risks of noise disturbance before they chose their rooms.
“Juniors had a choice between living near construction and living on south campus,” she said. “To reward people for choosing the few remaining rooms on north campus is to reward those who are risk-seeking or not bothered by the noise.”
Bos acknowledged that students were warned of these risks before the school year, but the noise was greater than expected.
“We knew it would be bad and we warned people,” she said. “It was not only noise from Pomona’s construction, but compounded by CMC’s.”
“Any time a change is made [in room draw], someone is going to be upset,” she said.
Even some of the students who benefited from the policy decision disagreed with its implementation.
“The idea that people got an advantage in room draw is absurd,” said Cosimo Thawley PO ’11, who lives in Lawry. “My room is perhaps the closest to the construction site, but I wouldn’t expect or want any advantage in room draw.”
Thawley agreed that the noise was worse than had been let on by administrators, but he maintained that everyone chose to live there for their own reasons.
“Residents across the campus have their own complaints,” he said.
Thawley also pointed to a lack of transparency in the decision-making process.
“The policy creates a problematic precedent for room allocation and was insufficiently discussed and advertised,” he said.
Some students questioned that the policy only acknowledged the construction close to north campus.
“There are two construction sites on campus,” Authement said, referring to the construction on south campus next to the Farm. “It is unclear whether one area is affected more than another.”
Alex Roebelen PO ’11, who lives in the Towers in Blaisdell, said the south campus construction has woken him up a fair amount this year.
“There was no mention of south campus construction being disruptive,” he said.
Bos pointed out that this comparison was unreasonable due to the location of the south campus construction.
“The proximity of the south campus structure to Mudd-Blaisdell does not compare to the situation for Clark I and Lawry,” she said.