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FHC plan would raise costs for poorer students

The recent Freshman Housing Committee report recommending the elimination of off-campus housing for the freshman year would, if implemented, undermine a significant means of support for financially needy students. The proposal will in fact place the existence of MIT Student House in serious jeopardy. It would also restrict the development of student body diversity which the Institute seeks.

MIT Student House exists to provide undergraduates with extraordinary financial hardship a means of attending the Institute when they would otherwise be unable to attend, even with financial aid. Student House is a non-profit, off-campus coeducational cooperative living group. Because of our non-profit status, we can offer housing costs substantially lower than any other living group or dormitory at MIT.

By depriving freshmen of the possibility of living off-campus, the proposal would drive away those financially needy students who would otherwise be unable to attend MIT without Student House.

If a student can afford the dormitories for the freshman year, it is safe to say that she/he does not need to live at Student House. If a student cannot afford to live in the dormitories (which would be required under the proposal), she/he will not attend MIT.

If such students do not attend MIT, how does this help encourage diversity among the student body at the Institute?

Those who now live at Student House, for the most part, came to live as freshmen. It is doubtful that seven or more upperclassmen or transfers could be admitted to the house every year to maintain the house's population (30).

Under the proposal, the only freshmen (and later, upperclassmen) who attend MIT would be those who could afford the dormitories. Student House, therefore, need not exist if the committee's recommendations are implemented.

This would be a substantial loss to both financially needy students and to the Institute. There exist other means of broadening the freshman year experience without threatening this means of assisting the financially needy at MIT.

Won-Suk Cho '90->

President of Student House,->

residents of Student House,->

and others->