Where does Lagunita fall on your list?
Is there a way to improve your chances of getting a better choice?
In other words, if you wanted to choose a "type of dorm" that would give you a good draw, what type would you list/what attributes would you specify (e.g. Four Class or 2-Room double)?
SLE is an acronym for "Structured Liberal Education" (which might seem a bit oxymoronic), and is a substitute for IHUM and PWR. It's a residential learning program for freshmen, but I'm sure there are many on these boards that can explain it better than I.
Oh, and about housing - There's not really much of a choice for freshmen, so it's all a bit of a crapshoot. Lagunita for freshmen isin't great though. The buildings are pretty, but the rooms are tiny (doubles that were meant to be singles).
You really can't do anything to try to get a better room. You can choose whether or not you want all-frosh or four-class (though neither is guaranteed, especially not all-frosh). If special programs like SLE or Frosoco or ethnic theme dorms interest you, you can do those, but they won't give you a better room or anything.
FYI, Okada is in Wilbur and has all one-room doubles. Uj is in Lag; I'm not sure if it has the dreaded minidoubles or not. Muwekma (sp?) I don't know very much about. Zapata is in Stern and has all one-room doubles. SLE is in Flomo and has (almost) all one-room doubles (I think Alondra has one giant one-room quad, but that's the only exception I know of). Frosoco is in Governor's Corner (far away from everything) and has mostly one-room doubles; you might get a two-room double if you're very, very lucky.
All the all-frosh dorms except Branner have one-room doubles. Branner has two-room triples (one living room and one bedroom). About 10% of frosh will live in Branner.
Of the four-class dorms, the ones in Wilbur, Stern, and FloMo will give you a one-room double. Lag is also one-room doubles, but they're tiny. Roble has three-room quads (living room and two bedrooms).
You should probably not take into account the quality of the rooms when submitting your preferences. The atmosphere you're looking for is way more important, and specific dorm placement is a crapshoot anyway.
I talked with a housing person, and they seemed to indicate that most people get what they want. Obviously, they are trying to sell you on the school, but he explained that they know the rough breakdown of who requests what and prepares for it in advance. Similar to yield in admissions.
I heard good things about this theme house, but I also heard that there will be construction going on nearby next year and so will be really noisy so they're bribing upperclassmen with singles, but not freshmen. Is any/all of this true and if so, how noisy will it be?
Eh, construction's not the end of the world in terms of noise - I'm in FloMo and we've had construction for the past couple of months outside the dorm. I can't really comment on any other inconveniences that construction might bring, but the noise isn't going to be a big factor. Zapata's a great dorm though - they're always tops when it comes to dorm spirit.
I live in Serra, which is right next to Casa Zapata and is also right next to the construction. The construction is from the hours of 8am-5pm. (8am is fine for me, but bad for others...) In Serra, and I think the case is the same in Zapata, upperclassmen live on the side of the building closer to the construction, and freshmen live on the side facing away from the construction, which will help you out. Anyways, as an upperclassman, I haven't found the noise to be that bad; I've been able to sleep through construction, even if I take a nap during the daytime. (I'm a light sleeper, too.) A possible caveat is that the upperclassmen get double-paned windows to help keep out noise, and freshmen don't, but again, freshmen are on the side facing away from the construction. My opinion is that the construction is a mild annoyance - one that I often don't even notice - and if you think Zapata sounds like a great dorm, don't let the noise stop you.
do the cultural theme houses have coed or samesex floors?
Also, i just got the packet where i have to rank my housing choices...my first choice was all freshman coed floors but after that i'm not too sure...anyone have any suggestions on what the closest to that would be for my next choices? thanks in advance.