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Frosh Dorm Crowding at 80%

By Garlen C. Leung
Night Editor

and Karen Kaplan

Executive Editor

After two housing lotteries, the housing office has announced that at least 80 percent of freshmen living in dormitories will be crowded, the highest percentage of crowds in recent memory.

"This figure may go higher," said Elliot S. Levitt '89, staff assistant for Residence and Campus Activities. He suggested that the that the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs underestimated the extent of crowding in dorms.

A room is considered crowded if two students are assigned to what is usually a large single, or if three are assigned to a large double. Crowded students pay less for their room than they would for normal accommodations.

The situation was exacerbated this year because the number of transfer students who applied for housing was double what the housing office expected, according to Levitt. "Of course, we had to guarantee housing for the extra 20 or so transfers who applied," said Levitt.

Another reason Levitt cited for the excessive overcrowding is that "fraternity rush has been slightly behind thus far."

Most students satisfied

Changes in the lottery system resulted in 97.5 percent of freshmen getting one of their top three dormitory assignments, Levitt said. "So far, we've been rather successful."

Jack Fu '96 said he was "ecstatic" that he was assigned to East Campus, his first choice. Louise Wells '96 was "happy" to get Baker House, her first choice, but she was one of many freshmen who complained that the lines at each stage of the housing process were too long.

Some students had to wait an hour or more to register their dormitory preferences on computers because of a lack of terminals, Levitt said.

Other freshmen were unsatisfied with their assignments and are searching for ways to move to other dormitories. Alice S. Wang '96 was speechless when she found out that she had been assigned to Senior House after her top seven dormitory choices were denied.

"It bothers me that we spent so much time looking around at all the dorms, and then you end up getting one you didn't even list," she said. "That really hurts."

Wang said her roommate's father drove to MIT from New York to complain about the housing assignment, but to no avail. Now the two plan to use posters to find students who want to trade housing assignments and move to Senior House.