Continued Occupancy/Active Citizen Application FAQs

Who is eligible to participate in this process?

ONLY current Becker House residents can be involved in the Continued Occupancy/Active Citizen process.  The Active Citizen application is the process by which CURRENT residents apply to live in Becker for the next year.

Who is an Active Citizen of Becker House?

An Active Citizen is a Becker House resident invested in having Becker House be the Best on West. Active Citizens are involved in helping build community among residents and are interested in resident-led governance. As a gesture of appreciation for your work in building a thriving community at Becker, we offer Active Citizens housing at Becker for 2023-24. We want all our residents to thrive at Becker House, but we are particularly interested in retaining residents who are currently involved in various activities in the House.

What is my commitment as an Active Citizen of Becker?

  2. PARTICIPATE IN A HOUSE INITIATIVE You have to register and participate fully in one of the House initiatives for the next two semesters (Spring 2023, Fall 2023).  You may choose the same initiative for both semesters or you may register for different initiatives each semester. House Initiatives will be announced at the start of each semester and you will be asked to register at that time.

Below you’ll see the House Initiatives offered during Fall 2022.

  • Cornell University Becker in Service (CUBS) – Volunteer for Service Projects. Requirements include leading and participating in various service projects at Becker, Cornell or in the local community. Can be taken as a one credit p/f course.
  • Becker House Café – Conversations and Comradery. Requirements include attending and participating in a weekly discussion with visiting speakers.  Offered every Wednesday evening. Can be taken as a one credit p/f course.
  • Bringing Science to Becker - Engage with guest scientists, visit research labs, and follow your curiosity! Learn firsthand about a typical day in the life of a researcher and have your questions answered.  Whether you are a non-STEM major fascinated by science or a STEM major wanting to pursue undergraduate research, everyone is welcome to participate.
  • House Council - Lead and advocate for the Becker community. House Council provides an opportunity for engagement, shared governance and planning and organizing social programs in Becker House.  House Council meet weekly on Sunday evenings.
  1. ORGANIZE AND LEAD A PROGRAM You must organize and lead at least one social activity that will help build community on your floor or in the House each semester (individually or with another Active Citizen). Your floor GRF/URF will work with you on budget and logistics.

What information will I need in order to complete the Active Citizen application?

  1. The usual demographic information (e.g., name, net ID, etc.)
  2. A clear jpg photo of yourself, in Becker House, that is meaningful to you. The photo must…
  • clearly show your face so we can recognize you (100mb max).
  • be of you alone! No other people in the photo.  
  • be taken in Becker House and be meaningful to you in some way.
    • Feel free to borrow "Carl Becker" (our cardboard cutout of Carl) and take your photo with Carl!  Stop by the House Office to sign Carl out.
  • You will need to explain why the photo is meaningful to you in 600 characters (approximately 100 words) or less.

NOTE: If you're accepted as an Active Citizen we will use the photo in your application to create a name tag to put outside your room/suite door in Becker to identify you as an Active Citizen (email Asst. Dean Carreiro @ ajc3 if you have questions, etc.).

  1. 250 word maximum answers to the following questions:
    1. In what ways have you been active in Becker House?
    2. Why is being an Active Citizen at Becker House important to you?
    3. What do you plan to do to live up to your Active Citizen status?
  2. If you are blocking, you will need the first and last names and net IDs of the people with whom you are blocking.  Also, if you have a 5-person block, you will need to identify which two people in your block will be living in the double occupancy room. 

NOTE: You may block only with current Becker House residents.

How many residents will be chosen to be Becker House Active Citizens?

We accept up to 75 continuing residents through the Active Citizen/continued occupancy process.  We plan to fill all 75 beds through our Active Citizen process. On the off chance we don’t fill all 75 beds through our Active Citizen process, we will host a mini-lottery in spring semester for the remaining beds giving preference to Becker residents, including new January transfers, who did not have a chance to participate in the Active Citizen process in the Fall semester.


Who is eligible to apply to be an Active Citizens in Becker House?  Who is eligible to be a blockmate?

ONLY current Becker House residents are eligible to apply for Active Citizen status or to be listed as a blockmate on another student’s Active Citizen application.  Students assigned to, or living in, other West Campus Houses or other Cornell residential areas are NOT eligible to apply to be an Active Citizen or a blockmate of an Active Citizen in Becker House.

Who selects the Active Citizens? When will I find out whether I’ve been selected?

The application is available on the Becker House website (  Applications are due by 11:59pm on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022.  All applications are reviewed and final decisions made by a selection committee chaired by House Professor, Neema Kudva. The Committee includes Assistant Dean, Amanda Carreiro, members of the Becker House staff (GRFs, URFs) and up to three non-returning Becker House residents.  Applicants will be notified of the results of their application by December 24, 2022.

Is there an advantage for second year Becker House members?

There is no advantage - selection is based on how active you are, how active you have been, and your application.

Does being selected limit what rooms/suites in Becker House I can choose to live in for 2023-24 AY?

YES.  We strive to distribute Active Citizens evenly throughout the House.  We will cap the number of Active Citizens (and blockmates) per floor.  If the cap on a floor has been reached, you’ll need to choose a room on another floor possibly in the other wing of the building.  If accepted as an Active Citizen you are guaranteed housing in Becker for 2023-24, but you are NOT guaranteed a particular room, floor or wing.  Room selection will occur in the spring semester. We reserve the right to assign you to a specific room (you will have the option of a single or a double occupancy room).

What are the rules about blocking (pulling roommates in)?

IF you are blocking, you must know with whom you plan to block when you complete your application.

You're blockmates do NOT have to be Active Citizens but they DO have to be current Becker residents.

BLOCKING – General Information

  • IF…you’re going to block you must identify your blockmates on your application (you need their first and last name, and their NetID) and you may NOT change your block after submitting your application.
  • You and up to four other CURRENT Becker House residents are allowed to block adjacent rooms on a corridor or in a suite.
  • You're blockmates do NOT have to be Active Citizens but they DO have to be current Becker residents.
  • You may NOT change your block after you submit your Active Citizen application.
  • Your block may include different genders.


  • Up to 5 students total may block adjacent rooms on a corridor.
  • If 5 students block together on a corridor, they MUST fill at least one double occupancy room.
  • If you have a 5-person block, you must indicate on your application who in your block will be living in the double-occupancy room.
  • You CAN’T change your block after submitting your application.

In Becker, suites are comprised of 3 single-occupancy rooms and 1 double-occupancy room.

  • If you are blocking a suite, you must FILL the entire suite – i.e., you must have 5 current Becker residents in your block including 2 who will live in the double occupancy room.
  • You must indicate on your application who in your block will be living in the double-occupancy room.
  • You CAN’T change your block after submitting your application.


  • If you have a 5-person block and are assigned a suite, and one of your blockmates changes their mind and doesn’t sign the housing contract, we reserve the right to re-assign your entire block to corridor rooms.

When is the application due?

Active Citizen Applications are due by 11:59pm on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022.

Active Citizen applicants will be notified by December 24, 2022 regarding the status of their application.

FYI – Undergraduate Resident Fellow (URF) applications are due by 5:00pm on Monday, November 14, 2022.  The URF application and selection process is completely separate from the Active Citizen/continued occupancy process.  We just want you to be aware of these dates in the event you choose to apply for both Active Citizen status and a URF position for 2023-24.  We anticipate the URF search process to be highly competitive and strongly encourage students who are applying to be a URF to also apply to be an Active Citizen.