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Graduate Housing Inaction

Over the past year, the MIT Administration has continually assured us that a sorely needed graduate residence would be built by 2002 despite a decision in March 1998 to delay the project. Last February, President Vest and Chancellor Bacow stated that the new graduate residence was definitely in the capital plan, but was not currently budgeted due to financial constraints on the Institute. This position was reiterated during the Open Forum on Graduate Housing in April.

Last week, we received a copy of the recently released FY2000 budget for MIT. Of note, the budget does not contain any allocation for the graduate residence. Most importantly, the graduate residence has been eliminated from the Institute’s capital plan. Meanwhile, housing costs in the Boston area continue to skyrocket. MIT’s graduate student population continues to increasingly place pressure on the already inadequate housing system. Graduate students seeking affordable housing find they are paying more, to live further away from campus -- with only the outdated off-campus housing office and their hand-written rental listings to assist them. The initiatives outlined in MIT’s FY2000 budget “...represent the most concentrated facilities renewal and construction program since the post-war years.” We are disappointed that the desperately needed graduate residence is not one of the projects included in such a monumental program for MIT.

Thank you to the many members of the community who have voiced your support for the new residence and concern over the plight of graduate student housing. The senior management has heard your input and claims that they understand the importance of graduate student housing to the community. Their actions indicate otherwise.

Brian J. Schneider G
GSC President, 1998-1999
Luis A. Ortiz G
GSC President, 1999-2000