The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 64.0°F | A Few Clouds

150 Crowds Will Strain Housing

By Daniel C. Stevenson
Editor in Chief

The undergraduate dormitory system will be filled about 150 to 160 people beyond capacity once all 1,130 new students have chosen housing, according to current projections by the Office of Residence and Campus Activities.

Starting tomorrow, the new freshmen and transfers will enter the housing lottery, running for the second year in a row on Athena.

The level of crowding represents "a strain on the system," according to RCAStaff Associate Phillip M. Bernard. However, it is hard to tell whether the effect on the quality of life will be negative, because of cramped living quarters, or positive, due for example to increased interaction and living group spirit, Bernard said.

The estimated crowding level may change either way depending on the success of rush and the number of freshmen who don't show up, Bernard said.

The major cause of this year's crowding was that a larger than expected number of students admitted to MIT chose to attend - 53 percent, the highest in over ten years.

Quints, lounge doubles not needed

Crowding of 150 to 160 is below the point where MacGregor House lounges would be converted to doubles or Baker House quadruples would be crowded to quintuples, as has been done in the past, Bernard said. Most likely, some doubles in dormitories such as New House and McCormick Hall would become triples, and some singles in East Campus would be converted to doubles, he said.

The loss of several rooms in Senior House to a new elevator shaft installed during summer renovations also contributed to a housing space shortage, Bernard said.

The renovations to Senior House, which will continue next summer, will not have much other effect on the housing system, Bernard said. Renovations this past summer did not focus on living quarters, so the rooms will not be any more attractive to potential residents.

MIT will no longer house students at the Huntington Hall dormitory, leased for the last two years from the Massachusetts College of Art and located near Northeastern University. However, the 40 or so spaces used at Huntington were absorbed in the system with the housing of 45 members of Sigma Kappa in the graduate dormitory Ashdown House, Bernard said.