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UA opposes proposals in FHC report

By Linda D'Angelo

After lengthy discussion, the Undergraduate Association concluded in an official statement released at last night's council meeting that "the Freshman Housing Committee's main recommendation, that all freshmen be housed on campus in preassigned dormitories, [is] untenable to MIT undergraduates."

This general statement will be followed by efforts to determine "how people feel about the proposal specifically," UA President Paul Antico '91 said. He added that the UA will not "stop at a statement" -- a survey will be conducted in Lobby 10 and, with this new information, the UA "will know were we should head."

Many representatives at the meeting, like Class of 1990 Vice President Stacy A. Segal, felt it "imperative that the UA take a stand on this issue." It is "important for the students to feel their student government is taking a stand on issues that affect them," Segal said.

The UA statement reflects a conviction that "the majority of

students are opposed" to the FHC proposal, Antico noted.

The UA statement is in keeping with its recent trend of "taking a stand on an issue and following it through," according to Segal. Last term the UA mobilized students against a proposal which recommended that the second-term freshmen pass/no-record grading be eliminated, she claimed.

Segal hoped that student opinion would be just as clearly voiced with regard to the FHC proposal. The opinion of students will "gain legitimacy" when "the administration sees that a large percentage of students are against this report and are serious about acting on their convictions," she said.

A community issue

"Everyone in the community has a common goal," everyone wants "to improve the housing system," Antico said. The final outcome should therefore be a community decision, with input from students, faculty and administration, he explained.

The Student Housing Working Group, recently formed to address specific problems in the FHC report and to propose some practical solutions, also hopes to make the FHC proposal a community issue. In a letter sent to all members of the faculty and administration, the group stated

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that "the nature of student housing at MIT does have a great impact upon undergraduate education, and thus should be an issue of concern for faculty, as well as students and members of the administration."

The faculty currently has no official role in the final decision; MIT's top administrative officials will ultimately decide whether to implement the FHC proposal. But the SHWG letter encourages the faculty to change this, so that their role "as housemasters, house fellows, advisors, alumni or concerned individuals . . . is not ignored."