The KRLX Show Priority System Explained

I’ve been asked regularly about how the KRLX show priority system works, and especially with regards to how it will work this upcoming spring term. Is zone B better than zone S? What happens if there’s a “T” prefix? And why do organization shows now have the number 0? Read on for very nerdy details.

The KRLX priority system is a set of rules that are used by the programming team to decide in what order shows get scheduled and added to the calendar. The basic premise is we usually sort by terms of experience first, followed by class year, and finally by submission time, but there are a few exceptions.

Components of a priority code

When you see your priority in the application center, you generally will see one (or maybe two) letters and one number. Board members see two extra numbers at the end, but only in administrative views (such as the schedule builder or master show list). The letter(s) in your priority is (are) referred to as your priority zone (i.e. Zone F), and the number is referred to as your priority group (i.e. Group 3). Together, these two components – your zone and your group – form your priority code.

If you have two letters

Two-lettered priority codes are used for anything that aren’t considered a standard show. These are Board shows, Featured shows, and Bandemonium applications. Since each of these groups needs to be handled separately from the main pool, a prefix is added in front of the usual priority code.

Prefixes and priority zone letters are all unique; there is no “A” prefix. The current list of prefixes is, in alphabetical order:

  • M: Bandemonium application
  • S: Priority Boost (available to Board members and occasionally others through promotions or giveaways)
  • T: Featured Show (approved under the KRLX Featured Shows program)

Since these prefixes are also letters and are unique compared to zone letters, a show with priority TF3 could be said to be in “zone T” or “Featured zone F”.

A note about Priority Boost: Effective Fall 2017, Board members are permitted to “Priority Boost” one show per academic term; all other shows are scheduled at that board member’s standard priority. Occasionally, KRLX runs promotions or giveaways where other members of the KRLX community are granted access to Priority Boost.

Zones A through J

Zones A through J are used to indicate terms of experience. With the exception of zone A, one zone corresponds to a specific number of terms of experience. All zones between A and J are color-coded. Shows with a prefix are assigned a color code based on which zone (A-J) they fall in. Note that these are Carleton terms; there are three terms in a year, so it is possible for a student to get up to 12 terms of experience.

Zone Color Terms of experience required
A Black 9 or more
B Gray 8
C Purple 7
D Blue 6
E Teal 5
F Green 4
G Olive Green 3
H Yellow 2
I Orange 1
J Red 0

For instance, a show in Feature zone F (“TF”) would be colored green.

When a show application is created, we assign a priority zone based on the person with the most experience. So if a show has a sophomore with 5 terms of experience and a junior with 2 terms of experience, we assign that show to zone E.

There are two exceptions to this rule, which have to do with fifth-year students and faculty and staff members:

  • Faculty and staff members, regardless of experience, are given priority X1.
  • Fifth-year students (those on campus for an approved 13th term, research assistants, etc) who qualify for zone A by having 9 or more terms of experience, are given priority X2 (colored black).


Within each zone, groups are numbered from 0 to 4.

Group 0 in each zone is used to designate student organization sponsored shows, where the participants listed on the application qualify for that zone. These are shows that don’t have a single person responsible for them, but rather are open to all members of a student organization. For instance, if a student organization show has a sophomore with 5 terms of experience and a junior with 2 terms of experience listed, we assign that show to zone E and group 0 (for priority E0).

In zones B through J, groups 1-4 are used to distinguish between class years as follows:

  • Group 1 is for seniors.
  • Group 2 is for juniors.
  • Group 3 is for sophomores.
  • Group 4 is for first-year students.

Just like zones, we use the best information possible – in this case, the oldest class year – to assign a priority group. This may be a different person than the person with the most terms of experience. For example, if a show has a sophomore with 5 terms of experience and a junior with 2 terms of experience, we assign that show to zone E (because of the sophomore’s experience) and group 2 (because of the junior’s age), for a final priority of E2.

Note that since there are 3 terms in a year at Carleton, the only way for a student to be in zone A is for them to be a senior. Therefore, using class years as groups doesn’t make any sense, so in zone A, groups 1-3 are used to distinguish between different levels of experience (and we assign a zone A group based on the most terms of experience present in a show):

  • Priority A1 is for students with 11 or more terms of experience.
  • Priority A2 is for students with 10 terms of experience.
  • Priority A3 is for students with 9 terms of experience.

Group 3 is not used in zones B, C, or D, and group 4 is not used in zones A through G.

What’s the scheduling order?

We handle zones S, T, and X — in that order — before moving to the general application pool. Zone M is handled after the general application pool (but Zone M is for Bandemonium, which has a defined time slot).

Within each handling group (S, T, X, General), we sort the shows alphabetically, then numerically, and then in order of submission time. So a show with priority G2 will be scheduled after priority F3, but before G3.

Posted by Tate Bosler