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Grad housing should be a priority for new protest

(Editor's note: The Tech received a copy of this letter addressed to Provost Mark S. Wrighton.)

We are responding to your comments about graduate student housing made in The Tech ["Wrighton seeks balance in education," Oct. 23]. Your comments suggest that you do not see immediacy for providing further graduate housing with the exception of housing for international students.

Your support for international students' plight in the greater Boston area housing market is laudable. However, many of the problems facing international students are the same as those faced by all students. Language and culture barriers are additional burdens that international students face, but, the primary problems are those of high rents, few proximate available apartments, big city realtor scalpers, etc. The result is a dire need for more graduate student housing for all graduate students.

Given that the primary problems in the graduate student housing market are not exclusive to international students, it would be unrealistic and unfair to preferentially house international students. The only way to assure adequate and livable housing for international students is to assure housing for all graduate students who desire it. This requires MIT to make a commitment to meet that demand.

Currently, the MIT graduate housing stock falls very short of that demand. MIT has the ability to house approximately 30 percent of its graduate student population. According to the 1989 Housing Survey done by the Graduate Student Council Housing and Community Affairs Committee, approximately 70 percent of the respondents answered that they would have taken housing if they had been offered it. In order to meet that demand, MIT must increase current graduate housing stock by more than twofold.

Given the problems faced by all graduate students in the housing market and the demonstrated demand for MIT graduate housing, a commitment to more graduate housing is a priority. We hope that you will consider this issue seriously in your agenda as provost.

Linda Kiss G->

Olof Hellman G->

Art Duval G->

Bob Kiss G->