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195 rooms are crowded

The Office of the Dean for Student Affairs has accommodated all new students applying for Institute housing by crowding 195 dormitory rooms, according to Associate Dean for Student Affairs Robert A. Sherwood.

Because of the high level of crowding, Sherwood is considering a review of the Institute's guarantee of eight terms of housing to undergraduates. Sherwood, Dean for Student Affairs Shirley M. McBay, President Paul E. Gray '54, housemasters, house presidents, and the Faculty Committee on Student Affairs will review the idea.

Sherwood expects the number of undergraduates returning to dormitories to remain high because off-campus rents will remain high for the foreseeable future. He believes the Academic Council would be reluctant to lower class size to an acceptable degree, since this would not maintain a desired level of tuition revenue. He therefore expects the current crowding level, which he sees as unacceptable, to continue.

Several factors can change the number of crowded rooms in the next few days, Sherwood said. At least three students who failed to fill out dormitory preference cards on time still want housing, and a few new students with housing assignments have not yet decided whether to accept fraternity bids, he explained.

The level of crowding is also affected by upperclass residents returning to the dormitories. The Dean's Office will not know the exact number of returning upperclassmen until those not participating in R/O return to campus on Sunday. There may be some "no-shows," Sherwood noted.

He also hopes that some upperclass dormitory residents will cancel their assignments and move off-campus, taking advantage of last week's waiver of the penalty for late cancellation.

The current crowding level nearly equals the record set in 1980, when 204 rooms were crowded and seven freshmen lived in converted TV lounges in the basement of Ashdown House for a term.

Ten lounges in MacGregor House have been turned into doubles, a measure Sherwood earlier indicated was very undesirable. The students in these doubles will have first priority in the housing system for uncrowding.

The most crowded house is Next House with 41 crowded rooms. There are also high levels of crowding at Burton House, East Campus, New House, Baker House, and McCormick Hall.

Upperclassmen are living in crowded rooms in several houses, including Next House, Burton, and McCormick.

Last week, Sherwood asked the fraternities to take additional pledges beyond their original goals to alleviate the demand for dormitory spaces. According to Sherwood, 371 new students had pledged fraternities by yesterday afternoon. The InterFraternity Conference (IFC) pledge goal is not publicly available, but Sherwood said the typical pledge goal over the past few years has been about 380 new students.

A few fraternities took as many as three or four students beyond capacity, according to Sherwood. But "a couple" of houses still have open spaces, according to IFC Chairman Tinley Anderson '86. He would not say which ones.

Students were assigned to Institute houses in a three-round lottery. In the first round, held Monday night, 670 of 817 students were given rooms, with the remainder left "in Limbo" without an assignment.

Students were allowed to cancel assignments and place themselves in voluntary Limbo. 159 entered the second round lottery on Wednesday morning, and 97 of them received assignments with the rest left in Limbo. All 78 who entered the third round lottery were given spaces.

At least 25 percent of those assigned to each Institute house except Bexley Hall were women. No other houses indicated a need for more women to maintain a quota of 25 percent women, according to Sherwood.

The increasingly high number of upperclassmen remaining in the dormitories because of the high cost of off-campus housing, as well as the unexpectedly large freshman class, led to the current crowding, said Sherwood.

East Campus, McCormick, New House, MacGregor and Senior House received students who ranked the house as second or third choice. Bexley, Random Hall, and Spanish House received students ranking the house below third choice.

About half the students assigned to Bexley ranked it below third choice; other houses received only a few low choices.