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Parents deserve summer dormitory priority

(Editor's note: The Tech received a copy of the following letter addressed to the Housing Office.)

I would like to complain about the fact that my parents will have to spend over $400 to see me graduate this spring. In past years, MIT has made arrangements for graduating seniors' parents to be able to stay in some of our dormitories so that they may both be close to their children and the events, and also save spending a huge amount of money to stay in Boston area hotels. But why, when we students live here for nine months of each year for four years, have you decided to give early summer dormitory space preference to alumni visiting for a weekend?

Each year when I was kicked out of my room in May to make space for our seniors' parents, I thought, "At least this will be nice for my parents when I graduate." But now you have changed your mind so that my family, which has already given MIT over $70,000, has to pay even more for a place to sleep while they see me finally get out of here. The hotels in Cambridge are ridiculously expensive and hardly as convenient. (The Hyatt -- which would offer almost the same convenience as my dorm -- costs over $200 per night and only allows three people per room. Most families would have to rent at least two for just the immediate family members.) This makes spending time together with the graduate far more difficult and time consuming, not to mention troublesome with parents unfamiliar with the Cambridge area (especially parents from other countries). I realize that you want to make the alumni happy because they give MIT money, but I can tell you now that after treating my family this way, I will not be inclined, as an alumna, to give MIT money in appreciation. If the alumni have so much money to give I would think that they could better afford the hotels in Boston.

I request that you rethink this decision, or else make some arrangements to reserve and partially subsidize rooms in area hotels to accommodate our parents with the convenience and reasonable price they deserve.

Lori Fretz '90->