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Dormitories See Departure From Previous Years' Trends

By Stacey E. Blau
Editor in Chief

Wednesday's residence hall lottery results indicated a number of departures from prior classes' preferences.

Senior House, consistently one of the most undersubscribed dormitories, was the third most oversubscribed dormitory in this year's lottery, with 34 freshmen placing it as their first choice, exceeding the 26 spots available. As a result, only freshmen who ranked Senior House first were placed there.

Bexley Hall, another perennially undersubscribed dorm, had 17 freshmen rank it first, only two fewer than the 19 spots available. Of the 19 freshmen placed there, 14 ranked it first. This compares favorably with the results from last year, when only 11 of the 33 freshmen placed in Bexley ranked it first.

Some dormitories less popular

Baker House, usually one of the more popular choices, was the most undersubscribed dorm this year. Only 51 freshmen ranked Baker first, compared with 118 spots open.

"I think we had a quiet rush this year," said George R. Lee '98, a rush worker who worked desk at Baker during the week. "That might have contributed to it."

"Baker does not look like a really nice dorm compared to Senior House" after its renovations, Lee said.

East Campus, usually one of the least popular dormitories, was second most undersubscribed, with only 49 first-place rankings compared with 100 spots. For both Baker and East Campus, a significant number of freshmen, 28 in each case, were placed there who ranked it third or lower.

Popular choices unchanged

As usual, MacGregor House, McCormick Hall, and Burton-Conner House were significantly oversubscribed.

Out of 665 freshmen who entered the lottery (excluding the language houses, Chocolate City, and freshmen who later pledged to independent living groups), 368, or 55 percent, chose one of these three dormitories.

In general, the results of the housing lottery were far better this year. Seventy-six percent of freshmen received their first choice of dormitory, compared with 67 percent last year.

Ninety-two percent received either their first or second choice, compared with 80 percent last year.

This improvement, however, did not come from a better computer algorithm, according to Residence and Campus Activities Staff Associate for Residence Programs Philip M. Bernard. Rather, the improvements likely are due to the smaller class size, approximately 20 fewer than last year.

Moderate crowding expected

Wednesday, Bernard stated that there would be a maximum of about 146 crowds, with the precise number to be determined as pledging continues.

This level of crowding is slightly better than last year, when approximately 155 crowds were required. At this number, most freshman rooms in East Campus will be crowded into doubles and doubles in Burton-Conner, McCormick, and New House will be crowded into triples.

Based on patterns from the past few years, it will not be necessary to convert the lounges in the MacGregor tower into doubles. In addition, quadruples in Baker Houses will not be crowded into quints.

Both these situations were considered particularly serious situations in past years, and the Institute has attempted to avoid them, in part by housing approximately 50 members of the Sigma Kappa sorority in the basement of Ashdown House, a graduate dormitory, until a sorority house is obtained for them.