Ten Bryn Mawr Room-Draw Archetypes

Posted April 5th, 2012 at 3:46 pm.

Bryn Mawr’s room draw makes March Madness bracketology look like child’s play.

“It all begins with a computer-generated, randomly assigned number, because it’s Bryn Mawr where fairness and integrity are the standard. However, from that point on, the entire process is focused on moving up in line. No way would I ever change it. Looking back it was so much fun.” See related story.

Part Hunger Games, part Survivor, part cut-throat Monopoly, room draw is quintessentially Bryn Mawr. During a recent fact-finding mission with a self-described “tiny group of room-draw veterans,” a list of the Room Draw Archetypes was created. Are you on this list? Perhaps you can think of a few more?

1. The Statistician: There’s an app for that.

The math and poli-sci major with the computer science concentration who (as a frosh!) developed an actual algorithm to determine the odds of getting a Denbigh-second single in her sophomore year. Here was the strategy that worked:

  • Start with a survey and get in a hall group of at least three seniors who want Denbigh.
  • Two of the seniors need to have numbers higher than 143.
  • No proxies.
  • No athletes. (Much love to the Crew team, but athletes turned out be statistically significant and negatively skew the results.)
  • Dog lovers are a plus. (Even though we can’t have pets, dog lovers over ferret lovers had a positive effect on the model.)

Is she a myth? What is the probability of this person being the VP of research and development at Google in 2031? Pretty good.

2. I Know it All Because I Study Everybody

Psychology and anthropology double-major, she’s that woman who knows every person’s room-draw number, the composition of every hall group, all of their first choices, and where each group has been spending its time over the past two weeks. “That woman who’s always in Club Canaday? Her hall group has been checking out Radnor big time, in shifts. I’m sure they want the block on the first floor because it’s near the Campus Center and the gym.” Madison Avenue, here she comes! It’s all about behavior, individuals, and groups.

3. “The Ites” (rhymes with lights)

Ites live by a strong moral code. Life is about the journey, not the destination, and Ites know the value of every step along the way. Why? Because they live in Brecon and Erdman and they don’t want to live anywhere else. They value individuality and community. They travel light; they enjoy long walks and deep thoughts. They learn self-reliance and have incredible memory skills, because frankly, it’s too far to go back and get it. But there is a sharp distinction between the Breconites of the Wood and the Erdmanites of the Valley.  Breconites have great calves, because whoa, that’s a whole lot of stairs up and back. And even if they draw a number two every year, they feel the call to go “home.”

4. The Obsessive JYA/Proxy

Only the most loyal, the most trustworthy, the most skilled and thoughtful can hold the title of proxy. You are a true friend, a life-long pal; we are sisters for real. I know there is no need to Skype in to room draw (yes, Skype) because you are my proxy and you are going to do your best for me. Can’t you just hear Adele’s voice singing about JYA proxies?

SHE, She went away. She went this spring. Now her choice is a mystery cause Merion is history. Rumor…(rumor has it.) Rumor…(rumor has it)…Rumor..(rumor has it.) Rumor has it Rock is what she’s holding out for.

5. The Follower

A loner Mawrter with a middle-to-good number, this Mawrter is nice, but does her own thing. However, now her number is not so great, and what’s a girl to do? She peddles herself out to a few groups to see if something comes up.  At least one brilliant strategist almost always snaps her up because she’s fine. She’s smart, she’s no-drama, kind of quiet, but not a hermit. A little quirky? Maybe the obsession with the train schedules of Philadelphia and other cities is a little odd, but it’s handy. Truth is, her calm demeanor won’t upset the balance of personalities in the group. She’s a “good get” in the long term.

6. Resourceful Over 300

If you are assigned a number over 300, don’t despair! You have the opportunity to develop a skill-set few can claim. You can become a Yoda of ResLife and earn the title of Room Draw Master. You organize and do the legwork for a group of women who have higher numbers than you. In exchange you get brought up in the line by a good hall group or a friend who is willing to share a sweet suite. A little work and strategy could pay off in a big way later. If you earn the title of Room Draw Master, then you will develop the skills to be a potential Foreign Service protocol officer and organize the seating chart for large dinners at the White House, or another equally prestigious seat of government. It’s just a suggestion.

7. The DLT’s

Oh, it must be nice to be on the Dorm Leadership Team. To know which room you’ll be living in. To be one of the spectators at room draw, eating chips and watching everyone else work the strategy magic. You giggle at the collective groan of “Merion is now closed.” That’s okay. Sometimes people don’t come home until 3 a.m. and sometimes they forget their keys. We’re not bitter. We wish you well.

8. Haffner Defaulters

“Y’all are crazy. Pazzi. Loco.  Basag Ang Pula. Trippin’…” Haffner  folks opt out completely and live the language of sanity.

9. The Chill

Haffner is fine. A small room is fine. Pem slit? It’s all fine. The Chill feel confident that there will be a place to sleep, eat, and do homework. They are RIGHT! These are the folks that seem to cruise through Bryn Mawr. They are friendly, cool, and rarely get worked up about things. Their outfits are an eclectic mix of whatever is clean in the closet and yet, somehow, they always look okay. Civil rights they get worked up about; room draw-whatever. We admire them, we are friends with them, but there is a part of us that thinks they’re nuts. Have they looked in Rhoads? Don’t they know what sweet rooms await them? They don’t seem to know what they are missing, or do they? These are some wise women.

10. The Frosh

Doe-eyed, overwhelmed, “What’s a nice girl like you, doing at a room draw like this?”  It’s trial by fire, but you will emerge stronger, smarter, and more worldly when it’s all over. Hope you like the view from Erdman basement.  Next year, you’ll be ready.

Happy Room Draw!

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