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Each incoming freshman class is divided up into entries, groups of 20-30 students who live in a dorm together along with their Junior Advisors. The word "entry" can refer either to the physical space in the dorm or to the people living together in the entry for a year.
Matriculating students are sent a short questionnaire over the summer before their first year to ask them basic questions about how they'd like to live, such as whether they'd like a roommate, whether they mind loud music, smoking, and so on. The class is then divided up according to the decisions of a group of administrators who engineer entries to be diverse along criteria that are not fully publicly known, but which certainly include race or geographical origin as a factor. One must also assume that they are guided by information from the questionnaires as well, but perennially non-smokers get paired with smokers, speaker-blasters with quiet types, and before half the freshman class lived in Mission, most of the class had to have roommates, even if most requested singles.
Each entry is cared for and led in some fashion by two Junior Advisors. In the 1980s, both JAs were the same gender; now, there is always one male and one female except in very rare cases. JAs are juniors who in their sophomore year applied to and were selected to befriend, orient, and live with freshmen in entries. JAs live in the same rooms of each entry each year, usually off of or near to the main entry common room.
Traditions and taboos
Below are traditions attached to entry dorms. For the general traditions of freshman year, see first-year.
- JAs do a lot of decoration of the entry before their freshmen even arrive, always including artistic name signs for all the doors, usually with a unifying theme.
- During the first week of school, each entry has a banner proudly displayed on the building, usually made and hung by the JAs before First Days.
- During the first week week of school, members of at least one entry will usually attempt to steal the banners of others, who will may or may not enjoy taking measure to prevent this.
- Entry incest. Every year, common wisdom and usually the JAs caution first-years against dating someone within their entry, but every year multiple such couples and hook-ups occur. It is even more taboo for a JA to date one of his or her frosh, but this too is far from unknown.
- Every entry at least tries to maintain a quote board, and such boards are often one of the first things checked out by visitors to the common room.
- Entry snacks are held at 10 pm Sunday nights.