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Graduate housing plans need more discussion

Past surveys and long waiting lists show that far more graduate students want to live on campus than can presently be accommodated. Even in the best of circumstances, an adequate supply of on-campus housing will not be available for about 10 years. This raises the question of what is the most equitable way of distributing the existing housing while the demand far exceeds the supply. Is there a system of allocation that will both more accurately reflect the priorities of the graduate student population and maintain or improve the quality of life for each person?

The Graduate Student Council's Housing and Community Affairs Committee made an effort to determine the needs and priorities of graduate students by distributing a housing survey last spring on Registration Day. About one third of graduate students, 1552 people, responded to the survey. Almost 70 percent of the respondents indicated that they would have liked to live on-campus their first year. Over 82 percent felt that first-year graduate students should have priority for on-campus housing. Currently only 23 percent of the first-year students have on-campus housing in September.

In response to the results of the HCA housing survey, MIT Housing Director Lawrence E. Maguire decided to form a housing policy that would better represent the specific needs of the graduate student body. People from the Housing Office met with graduate students from the GSC and wrote a housing policy that would give on-campus housing to about 54 percent of the entering graduate students. The Housing Office plan would have two lotteries. One for first-year students giving them a one-year non-renewable lease, and the other for continuing students giving them a one-year renewable lease. In contrast, the plan proposed by the house presidents would give on-campus housing to about 37 percent of the entering graduate students. The house presidents plan would give one-year non-renewable leases to all first-year students in Albany Street, but first-year students in the other buildings would have renewable leases.

These two proposed policies and other ideas are being discussed at the HCA committee's Monday meetings. Anyone who is interested in graduate student housing policy is cordially invited to come and to share his or her views and opinions.

Julia Vail G->

Chair, GSC Housing and->

Community Affairs Committee->