The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 22.0°F | Partly Cloudy

Grad housing policity adopted

By Dave Watt

Significant changes in MIT's housing policy for graduate students were finalized yesterday by MIT Vice President William R. Dickson '56.

The Tang Hall apartments will be furnished, and new residents will be admitted only on one <>

year non-renewable leases. A two-lottery system of allocating rooms will be instituted at Ashdown House, Green Hall, and the new apartment complex at 143 Albany Street, while the married student apartments at Eastgate and Westgate will permit students to remain in the buildings for a maximum of two years only.

The new policy [see box, page 2] will create a total of 900 beds for incoming graduate students. The plan will be fully implemented in approximately three years after current students have moved out.

The Housing Office will try not to put the new graduate students without tenured leases in with other students who have tenured leases, according to Housing and Food Services Director Lawrence E. Maguire.

In a letter to be sent to all graduate students, Dickson justifies the new policy based on the results of a survey of graduate students conducted by the Graduate Student Council Housing and Community Affairs committee during February 1989.

"The most compelling result of this survey is that a clear majority (82.4 percent) of graduate students feel that first-year students should be given priority for <>

on-campus housing," Dickson quoted from the abstract of the results of the HCA survey, written by Julia J. Vail G, the HCA committee chairperson.

Although Vail agreed that housing incoming students should be the first priority, she reiterated her support for the Graduate Student Council's alternate proposal, which was passed by consensus in the HCA committee and by a nearly unanimous vote of the GSC last November.

Tang residents permitted

to stay during renovations

The renovation of Tang Hall's top five floors will begin June 1, according to Michael S. Mills, MIT general manager for housing and renovations. According to Mills, the carpeting and kitchen appliances will be replaced, and bathrooms and showers will be regrouted if necessary.

If current residents choose <>

to remain in their rooms, they will likely be somewhat inconvenienced by the renovations, Mills said. "Obviously we are hoping that they will not do so," he added.

A letter outlining the options for Tang Hall's residents during the renovations was posted on the doors of all of apartments on Monday. The letter did not offer residents the option of remaining in their current apartments, in spite of previous promises by the Housing Office that such an option would be available. Mills conceded in an interview that Tang residents are permitted to remain in their current rooms, regardless of what the letter implies.

The contents of the letter "disgusted" Gautam Nayar G, the president of the Tang Hall Residents Association. In response to the letter, Nayar said, "I don't think it was fair on [the Housing Office's] part. I think they are playing dirty." Nayar said that the Tang Hall Residents Association may put up a poster in Tang informing people that they have the option of staying if they wish.

Kenneth Donaghey, the acting house manager for Tang Hall, denied that students had been misled about whether they would be permitted to stay in their rooms. "I don't think we were trying to hide anything from them," he said in a phone conversation yesterday.

Donaghey, who signed the letter sent to Tang's residents, said he would be willing to grant exceptions to individuals who wished to remain in their current rooms, but emphasized the problems they might face.

"They might be without their bathroom or kitchen for one or two days. We'll be replacing the carpeting in all of the rooms, putting in new kitchen appliances, replacing sinks. . . . I think the renovations will inconvenience them."

Maguire and Mills felt the inconvenience to students would be less severe than Donaghey had predicted. "If push comes to shove, we will not shove," said Maguire in a recent interview. Maguire also emphasized the need for a "soft landing" for residents during each stage of the renovation process.

In explaining why the option to remain in their current apartments was absent from the letter sent to the residents, Mills explained, "There are going to be inconveniences, but it is going to be livable, it is going to be acceptable,"

According to Mills, during the renovations in an occupied apartment, "The water will be shut off for one day or two days from 8 am to 4 pm; the cooking facilities might be down during the day; the shower will be down during the day, but we will put down duct tape so people can shower . . . [replacing ] kitchen cabinets would require people to take out all of their stuff. . . ."

The new graduate student apartment building at 143 Albany Street is scheduled to be open for occupancy on June 1, according to Mills. The Housing Office has posted a copy of the floor plan for 143 Albany in the <>

lobby of Tang Hall, according to Nayar, to create an incentive <>

for Tang residents to move into Albany.