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Frosh Receive Housing Spots

By Sarah Y. Keightley
Editor in Chief

The Student Center Athena cluster was bustling with activity yesterday evening as small groups of freshmen gave out happy cries and disappointed groans. They had just received their dormitory assignments through electronic mail.

About 760 students have received assignments, and another 44 will have to wait until the second round of the housing lottery, according to Assistant Dean for Residence and Campus Activities Andrew M. Eisenmann '75.

This year students entered their housing preferences using the Athena Computing Environment. Eisenmann processed this information using software on his Macintosh. The results were then e-mailed to the new students.

The new system seems to have alleviated problems that came up last year. Last year's freshmen had to wait in long lines to receive their dormitoryassignments. Also, about 100 students had to wait for a second lottery, and 55 had to wait again for a third lottery.

Yesterday's messages were scheduled to be sent out by 6 p.m., but there was some delay. The program's creator S. Anders Oakland had to deliberately slow down the way the program sent mail because he did not want to clog the mail server. Still, he had planned to have the messages sent by 6 p.m.

Most students were happy with their permanent housing assignments.

Priya Bhargava '98 took some time before logging in to learn her housing assignment. She said she was really nervous because, "You have no idea where you're going to end up." She later found out that she received her first choice, MacGregor House.

Still, some students were upset by the lottery results.

Gina Ferrante '98 was assigned to Burton House, which was her fifth or sixth choice. "I blocked with a friend of mine," she said. "I'm very upset because everybody was telling me you get your first or second choice."

Lottery has full participation

Oakland said that they were "delighted by how well the numbers added up." The total number of students with dormitory assignments and students who have pledged fraternities or agreed to live in independent living groups seems to equal the number of freshmen in the class, he said.

Eisenmann said that no one seems to have missed out on the lottery. He did say that three or four students missed Monday's 3 p.m. deadline for particular reasons, and they entered their preferences manually in the Residence and Campus Activities office.

The second round lottery assignments will go out today by 6 p.m., Eisenmann said. This still enables students to attend possible in-house dormitory rush events. The second round is necessary because pledging is a continual process, Eisenmann said. As students accept bids from fraternities, some sororities, and other independent living groups, new spaces are opened up in the dormitory system, he said.

Several dormitories, including Baker House, MacGregor, and McCormick Hall will be doing room assignments before the freshmen actually move in on Thursday, Eisenmann said. This means that students will be able to move directly into their final dormitory room.

In previous years, all freshmen started moving into their permanent dormitory assignments after the lottery results were released. They were then placed in temporary rooms before in-house dormitory rush, and had to wait a few days before getting their final room assignments.

Hack assignments

Prior to receiving the actual mail from housing lottery officials, some freshmen received messages telling them that they had been given "a less traditional housing assignment." For example, Eric M. Nielsen '98 was assigned to W15-103, the Chapel, and Piyush Bharti was assigned to 51-201, the Sailing Pavilion.

The letter read: "Some of you at this point may notice that you have been given a less traditional housing assignment. You are one of the lucky few randomly chosen to have their requests withdrawn from the normal housing lottery to allow you to participate in this innovative new housing experiment." It is signed Jack Florey, a common pseudonym for hackers.

Oakland said that his office was aware of these messages. They decided not to try to remove them from the system because they were "amusing." He hopes that not too many freshmen were confused by the "hack" message.

In response to the joke, the real letter starts off: "No, you haven't really been assigned to live in a police cruiser, a freight elevator, or the chapel."