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IFC Resolution Condemns Freshman Housing Decision

By Krista L. Niece
Associate News Editor

The Interfraternity Council announced its opposition to the decision to house all freshmen on campus at its last presidents' council meeting.

The resolution was first passed unanimously by the IFC executive committee. It was then presented to the presidents' council on Sept. 23.

Duane H. Dreger '99 said that the approval at that meeting was unanimous, with one president absent. However, one house president claimed that he attempted to vote against the resolution and was accidentally ignored.

The resolution states, "Freshmen housing choice is an integral and essential part of the MITundergraduate experience," and lists reasons why it should be retained.

"Freshmen housing choice is fully compatible with the educational mission. [and is] beneficial to the MIT community as a whole."

The IFCresolution calls the decision a blow not only to the fraternities, sororities and independent living groups, but to the rest of MITas well. "By eliminating freshmen housing choice, irreparable harm will be done to the MITcommunity as a whole," it said.

The resolution also repeated a claim by Jeremy D. Sher '99, a member of the Task Force on Student Life and Learning. Sher claimed that the administration had forced the task force to include a recommendation to house freshmen on campus.

The decision to house all freshmen in dormitories starting in 2001, was announced on August 23 by President Charles M. Vest.

Administrators dismissed the IFC's actions. "The decision will not be reversed," said Chancellor Lawrence S. Bacow '72.

"You can't let yourself be bullied around," Vest said. Threats by fraternity alumni to stop donations will not intimidate the Institute into changing this decision, he said.

Manju V. Madhavan '99, president of the Dormitory Council, said that the dormitory government supported housing all freshmen on campus, "as long as it can be done in the context of reducing crowding."

Madhavan agreed that it would "not be the same as having [off-campus living groups], but it's a matter of bringing community together."

IFC hopes to get decision revoked

According to Dreger, a long-term goal of the IFCis to have the decision "either reversed or changed." The organization believes that the problem lies not with the FSILGs, but with the administration's lack of understanding, he said.

"The big thing we need to do is educate the administration," Dreger said. The MIT community rarely hears "the positive things" that off-campus living groups do, he said.

In the near future, the IFC's main goal is simply to state its position on the matter, Dreger said.

The future of freshmen are at stake, he said. "It's better for the freshmen and the community"to have off-campus housing available to freshmen from the beginning.

"We feel that the loss of support and guidance far outweighs any advantages to the new housing plan," he said.