The Room Ballot

How & when the room ballot takes place

Each year, the room ballot process is conducted between the college accommodation officer and the JCR accommodation officer at the time, and the exact details can change from year to year.

What follows is based on how the 2014-15 room ballot was done, and may not be exactly how things are done in future years.

Early in Easter term, the JCR will notify people of their place in the random draw, without the full draw being made public, by email. This email will also tell you of your allocated time to choose your room.

On room selection day, each person will be given a slot in which to come to the designated room to make their selection. The end time of the allocated slot is the time by which you MUST have selected your room. Failure to choose a room by this time (be it due to indecisiveness or not turning up) will forfeit your place in the ballot. For pairs sharing a set, you must turn up together to select your room.

We have often had a ‘live-feed’ available which allows students to watch the choosing process on the day. There is usually a projector and screen set up in the bar to show this.

In the event that the ballot does run ahead of schedule (ie. people don’t need the full time allocation to make their selection) then subsequent people on the list will still have up to the original time deadline allocated (and hence could end up with more than the 2 minutes to make their selection) though if they also do not choose to make use of the extra time the selection process will continue ahead of schedule.

Queens’ Quarters also has a lot of information regarding individual rooms (size, storage etc) filled in by previous occupants. The rent listing on Queens’ Quarters is handled by the JCR accommodation officer, and almost always 1 or more years behind. (At the time of writing, the rents showing are those for the 2013-14 year.) You can probably find more up to date rent information on the college website’s accommodation pages, here. Rent increases are decided by the Charges Committee in the summer.

The Queens’ Quarters site has a room shopping function set up whereby you can add rooms that you are interested in to a ‘shopping basket’ and also see how many people are interested in each room (though not which people). This is to aid in generating a list of rooms that you can take along on room selection day in order to ease the choice when under time constraints.

Questions can be sent to the college accommodation officer (rooms@queens.cam.ac.uk) and the JCR accommodation officer (jcr-accommodation@queens.cam.ac.uk).

Thomas Flynn
Thomas Flynn,