The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 27.0°F | A Few Clouds

UA Resolves to Protect Choice Of Housing for Upperclassmen

By Christine Fry


The Undergraduate Association Council passed a resolution against the possibility that MIT might compel “upperclassmen to involuntarily leave their current housing” next year.

“A Resolution to Protect Choice in Housing,” proposed by Benjamin J. Zeskind ’03, UA Council vice chair and MacGregor House Representative, states “That compelling upperclassmen to involuntarily leave their housing should not be considered as a housing option for next year, and ... they be encouraged to move voluntarily through incentives, and ... contingency plans be developed that do not involve compelling upperclassmen to involuntarily leave their current housing.”

“We’re not trying to pick a fight. We want to be democratic,” Zeskind said.

“This resolution is not reactionary to something coming down the pipeline,” said Jaime E. Devereaux ’02, UA President. Rather, the resolution is simply a formal statement of the opinion of the council on the issue.

The plan to force students to move into Simmons Hall and the new graduate student residence at Sidney and Pacific streets is currently being considered by the administration to alleviate housing problems caused by housing all freshmen on campus next year, Devereaux said.

“There are 19 days before short-term housing plans need to be made. Decisions have not been made,” Devereaux said. She told the council that 400 students must be moved out of the dorm system next year. This could be done through the Senior Segue plan; giving Kappa Alpha Theta and Alpha Epsilon Phi, sororities that currently do not own houses, space in Sidney-Pacific; and by students choosing to join fraternities, sororities or independent living groups.

Sororities to be housed in dorm

The sororities will be given as many rooms in Sidney-Pacific as they need, according to Yun-Ling Wong ’02, Interfraternity Council representative to the UA.

“We’re seeing how many [sorority members] want to go. [MIT] will give us as many rooms as [members] willing to move,” Wong said.

There is still some uncertainty surrounding when construction of Sidney-Pacific will be completed. The sororities do not know when they will find out if the dorm will be finished by the fall.

“There are so many variables right now. There are no back-up plans,” Wong said.

Institute use of fee still uncertain

The proposed $200 student activity fee will be split between funding the cost of construction and operation of the Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center and a discretionary fund for Dean for Student Life Larry G. Benedict and Dean for Graduate Students Isaac M. Colbert.

The details of how the fee will be used are still not known by the UA and the Association of Student Activities Executive Board. Devereaux described the details given by Chancellor Phillip L. Clay as “a little vague.”

The fee is expected to raise approximately $2 million. The Zesiger Center fund will receive $1.4 million and the discretionary fund will be given $600,000.

“We’re not seeing why the Zesiger Center should be treated differently [from Johnson Athletic Center],” said Victoria K. Anderson ’02, UA Speaker and UA Representative to ASA Executive Board. Johnson Athletic Center operating costs are currently paid for through tuition.

The discretionary fund can be used by Deans Benedict and Colbert as they see fit. Devereaux said the deans can use the money for such things as large campus events.

The future actions of the ASA Executive Board are unknown.

“We’re trying to decide how much students want to fight this battle,” Anderson said.