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Most get first housing choice; 150 in Limbo

The Office of the Dean for Student Affairs assigned 670 freshmen and transfer students to Institute housing in the first round of the housing lottery last night.

A total of 817 new students applied for dormitory spaces. Approximately 150 incoming students received no housing assignment and were placed in Limbo. Last year, 88 students were in Limbo after the first round of the housing lottery.

All available spaces in Institute houses, except Random Hall, were filled in the lottery.

More dormitory spaces will become available as new students pledge fraternities, upperclassmen cancel dormitory assignments and additional crowded rooms are created. Students in Limbo will receive housing assignments in further rounds of the lottery. New students may cancel their dormitory assignments and place themselves in Limbo if they wish to try for another assignment in the residence system.

Associate Dean for Student Affairs Robert A. Sherwood will meet with students in Limbo today at 6:00 pm in Room 10-250 to inform them of housing opportunities.

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Nearly all get first choice

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Of those who received an assignment, 95.7 percent, a larger percentage than ever before, were assigned to their first-choice house, according to Sherwood. The result of the lottery "makes us very happy," he said.

Sherwood attributed the favorable result of the lottery to changes in the patterns of housing requests. Formerly unpopular houses have become more popular, he explained.

Senior House did a "spectacular job" of attracting new residents, Sherwood said. For the first year ever, no one was assigned to Senior House who had not named it as his first choice, according to Sherwood. MacGregor House also attracted more students than in past years. All but one space in MacGregor House was filled by first choices.

McCormick Hall was able to accommodate all students desiring rooms there for the first time ever, according to Sherwood.

500 Memorial Drive, the first choice of 204 new students, was the most popular dormitory. Fewer than two-thirds of those selecting 500 Memorial Drive could be placed in the dormitory. Baker House, Burton House and East Campus were also oversubscribed.

Bexley Hall was the only dormitory to be substantially undersubscribed. It was the first choice of fewer than half the number of students for which it had space.

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Crowding increases

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The number of crowded dormitory rooms, presently 134, will be increased to 165 in the second housing lottery and to "whatever we need" to accommodate students remaining in Limbo in the third lottery, Sherwood said. Last year, 107 dormitory rooms were crowded.

Sherwood estimated last week that about 200 dormitory rooms would be crowded. That estimate exceeded the Dean's Office target of 100 crowds because of the unexpectedly large freshman class and the high return rate of upperclass dormitory residents, he said. The Clearinghouse computer showed 1059 members of the Class of 1989 and 74 new transfer students have arrived at MIT.

Crowding levels at 500 Memorial Drive, McCormick Hall and East Campus increased dramatically since last year.

The Dean's Office must "depend on the fraternities coming through" to provide rooms for all new students, said Sherwood. Freshmen who do not pledge fraternities are guaranteed Institute housing.

Fraternity rush "seems to be doing better than last year," said Sherwood. The rainy and cool weather during Residence/Orientation Week "doesn't seem to have affected it."

The Dean's Office insures that all co-educational houses are assigned at least 25 percent women students. It achieves this goal by giving women first priority in the housing lottery until the 25 percent quota is filled.

Transfer students applying for rooms in 500 Memorial Drive were given preference over freshmen to balance the sizes of classes in that dormitory. A large number of 500 Memorial Drive residents graduated this year.