Room Lottery FAQ


I want to live at Sidney-Pacific. How can I live there?

I want to change my room. How can I do this?

  • Once a year, Sidney Pacific holds an internal housing lottery for residents with continuing housing status and incoming officers. If you would like to make a request to change rooms outside of this lottery process, please fill out the Room Transfer Request Form.

Internal Housing Lottery

Staying in your current room

I'm a first-year student, and I've applied to the continuing student housing assignment process. I want to stay in Sidney-Pacific, and I want to keep my room. What do I do?

  • The continuing student housing assignment process is totally independent from the Sidney-Pacific government and is run by the MIT Housing Office. If you get reassigned to Sidney-Pacific, the MIT Housing Office will try to give you back your current room. If you currently live in a double, it is likely that you will get back your room. If you live in an efficiency, there is a larger chance that your room will be taken in the internal lottery and you will have to move. Either way, there is nothing you need to do (or can do) beyond entering the continuing allocation.

I am eligible for the internal housing lottery and would like to stay in my current room, but I don't see my room listed as available in the online room ballot. What do I do?

  • You don't have to do anything. The default option is for you to keep your current housing assignment. Your room is not listed as available to prevent other people from selecting it. Just make sure you renew your contract with the MIT Housing Office.

I would really like to move into a different room. However, if I don't get it, I want to stay in my current room. Do I have to list my current room as one of my preferences?

  • No. By default, if you don't get any of the rooms you indicate, you'll stay where you are. This again explains why the rooms of people who are continuing residents (yet intend to switch) are not on the "available" list.


I am currently in a double and want to stay in my room but would like to request a specific roommate. Can I do this?

  • Yes. If the requested roommate is either an SP resident with continuing housing status or an incoming officer (in other words, someone who is definitely going to live in SP for the coming year), you can simply indicate your preference on your lottery ballot. Keep in mind that this person must also request you as a roommate on their ballot.

The roommate that I am requesting is a prospective incoming student (or a first-year SP resident without continuing status). What do I do?

  • These cases cannot be accommodated in the internal housing lottery because Sidney-Pacific does not have access to or influence on the list of people who will be assigned to live here for the coming year. However, if you wish, you may enter the internal lottery and request a double with the other room open, by making a note in the "Other Notes" field of the ballot. If the person you wish to live with does get a spot in SP, Housing will assign him or her to be your roommate, assuming of course that the two of you have mutually requested each other. If he or she does not get a spot, however, you will still have to move to the room you have been assigned and will end up living with a "random" roommate.
  • The reason is that once SP makes internal lottery assignments, we give Housing a list of vacancies, which includes rooms that people are transferring out of. Housing then takes that list and runs their new/continuing allocation -- at which point rooms to be vacated are reassigned, and SP no longer has control over them.

I don't want to request a specific roommate, but I would like to somehow indicate a roommate preference (i.e., religion, ethnicity, vegetarian, night-owl, early riser, non-weirdo, etc). Can I do this?

  • You may place such requests in the notes section on the ballot. However, we have not implemented a formal policy to handle such requests and there is a good chance we will not be able to put this information to use. The best solution is to find someone eligible for the internal housing lottery that you are compatible living with.

Seniority points

How do I view my seniority points?

How are seniority points treated when two people want to room together (are the points summed, averaged, etc)?

  • The seniority points of two people who want to room together are summed. For example, if one person has 6 points and the other (the requested roommate) has 4 points, then they will be treated as a pair with 10 points. Together they will have priority over a single person with 7 seniority points who wants a room in the same apartment.

Do seniority points from Ashdown or other dorms transfer over to Sidney Pacific?

  • No.

I am an incoming officer who does not currently live in SP. Do I have any seniority points?

  • Incoming officers from outside SP have zero points because points are awarded at the end of each term. However, incoming officers have a better selection of rooms than incoming new students and first-year residents who are reassigned to live at SP.


Why are some doubles named A/B while others named B/C? How do I figure out which letter corresponds to which side of a double? The floor plans don't say.

  • Believe it or not, the "missing" third letter is the bathroom. The three rooms (including the bathroom) in each suite are labeled A, B, C clockwise as you look at them from main doorway. In particular, this means that the B apartment is always the one adjacent to the bathroom.

Is there any advantage to ranking fewer room choices on my ballot?

  • No. After the lottery closes, entries are ordered by seniority points and then assignments are made sequentially. You will be assigned your top remaining choice; if all of the rooms you specified have been taken, you'll be re-assigned to your current room.

I don't like making hasty decisions. Can I get an extension on the lottery deadline?

  • No. The reason for this deadline is so that we can make assignments and then provide the MIT Housing Office with a final list of available rooms (in order for them to begin their housing allocation process to incoming students, re-assigned first-years, etc). The deadlines for the Housing allocation process are set and we (the house government) cannot change them.

Who is in charge of the internal housing lottery?

  • The Chair of the Halls is responsible for the internal housing lottery. You may ask questions by email (sp-hallchair [at] mit [dot] edu), but please make sure your questions have not already been addressed here.