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MIT Faces Crunch In Summer Housing

As Many as 180 Students May be Denied

By Matthew Palmer


Renovations to the East Campus and Random Hall dormitories have caused a crunch for summer housing and may leave some students without a place to stay.

Manager of Undergraduate Residential Services Phillip M. Bernard said there were 980 people vying for some 800 summer slots.

“I doubt there will be enough room,” Bernard said. “Summer housing is not guaranteed.”

Because some people are expected to cancel their requests, it is not yet known how many students could be left without an assigned room.

The lottery system being used has been the source of confusion and criticism among the students. Students had until yesterday to request summer housing, but many individual houses have already begun assigning spaces. As a result, many students already know their housing assignments while others wait and wonder.

”Individual housemasters are doing their own lotteries,” said East Campus President Brandy L. Evans ’01. ”Senior House and Bexley have finished, so people living there already know. I think the only one that hasn’t [finished] is Next House,” Evans said.

As a result of the timing of the lottery, students who do not receive summer housing will have a difficult time finding housing elsewhere.

”People who haven’t heard back are definitely worried,” Evans said. ”People are pretty upset about the timing, because if you don’t get summer housing at this point, it’s going to be difficult to find housing.”

Dorms welcome upgrades

The shortage of available rooms will be caused by a $32 million project to upgrade fire and electrical systems across campus. This summer’s construction will force the full evacuation of East Campus and Random.

“There was a mixed reaction” toward the renovations, Evans said. “We were happy things were getting done.”

She said many of the East Campus residents who were granted summer housing will stay at Senior House or Bexley. Those who are not given a room may stay in FSILGs.

Matthew S. Cain ’02, president of Random Hall, said his dorm is up to code, but “we want something that meets our needs.” Along with fire and electrical updates, Random will receive new carpeting and make other previously scheduled repairs.

“We generally have a high percentage of people that stay” in Random Hall over the summer, Cain said. Due to the repairs, many Random Hall residents will be moving to Bexley or FSILGs, Cain said.

Sprinklers and grounded outlets will be installed in every room. The large scope of the renovations is why both dorms will be fully evacuated, a move questioned by some residents.

The East Campus upgrade is expected to cost $400,000 while Random’s renovations are priced at $300,000.

There have been similar housing shortages for the last two years, when Baker House was closed for renovations to its rooms and common areas.

Last year, Baker set up a tent near Kresge Auditorium to rush incoming freshmen as the construction was being completed.

Next year’s orientation should not affect East Campus or Random in this way, as the construction is expected to be finished by mid-August. Related stories: