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Freshman housing recommendations on hold

Freshman housing

recommendations on hold

By Kai-Teh Tao

No action will be taken next year on the recommendations of last fall's Freshman Housing Committee report, according to Provost Mark S. Wrighton and Associate Provost Samuel J. Keyser. The report recommended that all freshmen live in dormitories on campus, and that rush for independent living groups be deferred to the spring term.

"Presently there are no plans to act on the recommendations put forth by the Freshman Housing Committee for the upcoming year," Wrighton said.

A second report of some kind may come out next spring, after more research on the report's recommendations is conducted, Keyser said. But no decision will be carried out before the matter is investigated further.

Contrary to popular belief, the committee did not recommend

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an all-freshman dormitory, but did suggest a mandatory random distribution of freshmen throughout the dormitory system, according to Wrighton.

Wrighton said that as a parent he favors on-campus housing for the first year so that students can adjust and be involved in the MIT community.

The committee also recommended that Residence/Orientation Week be re-focused to emphasize academic orientation and academic opportunities and provide a more complete introduction to the MIT community.

This recommendation influenced changes in this year's R/O, with the introduction of the design project and emphasis on breaking the freshmen up into smaller discussion groups to allow them to ask questions about MIT in an informal setting.

To fully implement the report's recommendations, 350 additional dormitory spaces and a transition period to "minimize adverse effects on the ILGs and smooth out the shift from freshman-year to sophomore-year pledging" would be required, according to the report.

Last year, many students voiced opposition to the recommendations, arguing that the change would radically affect the present residential system and restrict students' freedom of choice in residence selection.