by Austin Conger
Room draw is a discouraging topic for the majority of Sewanee students. Not unlike the cruel realities of capitalism, only a lucky1% of the students are satisfied with the outcome of a system that rewards only a small fortunate bunch. John Irby (C’16) found himself to be a member of the elite lucky few during last year’s room draw, now residing in the luxurious Benedict Hall. He struck gold last year when the room draw landed him in Benedict where he is only a hop skip and a jump away from his most frequent hangout spot, The Phi Society, and reasonably close to the academic buildings. I pay the same tuition to the University as Irby; however, I find myself squished in a Gorgas room no bigger than a closet, only to be subjected to living in a forced triple with my roommate, Marina Bundy (C’16), and a colony of ladybugs that acts as the equivalent of a third human roommate. While the students attending alternative colleges search for sofas and kitchen supplies for their new apartments, I can’t help but laugh at my current situation: I am an adult shopping for a twin sized mattress topper in Cowan, Tennessee. Even buying a twin sized mattress may be ambitious, for now I will most likely be forced to sacrifice my desk in an effort to make space for myself to get dressed each morning.
Gordon Pyne (C’16) and Brian Tudor (C’16) suffered a devastating blow by the room draw system, all over a keycard. My fellow Gorgas resident Pyne reflects regretfully on his first experience going through room draw as a freshman in the spring of 2013. “ I should have been in a room in Courts, but I was not allowed to sign for the room because I didn’t have my keycard present. Brian had his card and I offered to give they my number but they required the physical card. By the time I ran back to my room to grab my card, Gorgas was the only option.” The pain in Pyne’s eyes is evident as he shakes his head, reliving this agonizing experience. The question is who is to blame? Is it Pyne for neglecting to remember to carry his key card to the BC for room draw? Or is it perhaps the cruel system, which condemns students, no less valuable than the more fortunate residents of Benedict, to a year of living in a cramped, bug infested room in Gorgas or the basement of McCrady.
But it is truly the freshman class that we pity the most. Freshmen, enjoy the last couple weeks you have in the air conditioned and spacious Smith Hall cause next year you have long, leisurely walks back to Gorgas as you attempt to flag down any and every person driving you have never spoken a word to.