Dormitory Housing Deadline ExtendedBy Jeffrey Greenbaum
The Housing Office has postponed the deadline for undergraduate dormitory residents to formally confirm or decline their on-campus housing status for next year to April 13 from March 7.
This decision results from the “added complication of getting freshmen to move to the FSILGs [Fraternities, Sororities and Independent Living Groups],” said Denise A. Vallay, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Housing.
Although Interfraternity Council President Lawrence W. Colagiovanni ’04 estimates that roughly 80 to 85 percent of new members of fraternities intend on moving in, he said that “we did not think that many houses had spoken to their new members about moving in.”
In addition to providing IFC houses with more time to speak with their new members about moving in, this extra time “gives us more time to come up with incentives to encourage them to move in,” Colagiovanni said.
Housing Office creates incentives
The IFC, the Housing Office, and the Office of Student Life Programs have designed a policy by which a second-semester sophomore can receive top priority to move from an FSILG house back to a dormitory. Colagiovanni said that this priority is limited to sophomores during the Spring semester rather than the Fall in order to encourage them spend at least a semester trying to live in the house.
Specifically, the second semester sophomore will receive the priority of a freshmen in the current system, who is still guaranteed on-campus housing.
Furthermore, Colagiovanni said that he would like to see full SafeRide routes during the day, and that there are discussions about implementing such routes next year during the colder months.
“It would be nice if MIT could help us give [the new members] material incentives to move in,” said Sigma Nu President Timothy R. Kreider ’04.
Kreider would like to see improvements to the SafeRide route and schedule because “right now [it] is a fairly unreliable and inconvenient way of getting to campus,” he said.
Houses to talk with new members
Although the houses were well aware that their new members would eventually have to confirm or decline their on-campus housing for next year, Colagiovanni said that there has not been much dialogue between freshmen and IFC houses.
Colagiovanni said that houses should talk to their new members about the advantages of living in the house, compared to a dormitory. For instance, he said that FSILG housing is often cheaper than dormitory housing.
To alleviate concerns that some new members may have about living in the houses, Colagiovanni said that he would like for there to be a weekend in which all houses encourage their new members to live at the house. Although many new members currently sleep occasionally at the houses overnight, Colagiovanni said that such a longer period of time would allow new members to observe that FSILG members study and in fact receive support from their fellow house members.
Nonetheless, Colagiovanni said that houses do not intend to forcing new members to move in.
While “it’s certainly in the best interest of the chapter for most or all of them to live in the house ... I don’t want to force them in if they really won’t want to live here,” Kreider said.
Many freshmen intend to move
At this time, Colagiovanni said that it seems like only one to two new pledges from each house do not intend on moving in.
“I think that at least half of our freshmen are interested in moving into the house, and others are considering it,” Kreider said.
Some houses may not have enough room for all their new members to move in.
“For the most part, the freshmen want to live in the house next year,” said Phi Beta Epsilon President Herman L. Lelie ’03. However, he said, “we are also expecting demand to exceed” the allowable occupancy, so PBE will have to develop a system for determining who will live in the house.
Many deadlines fall on April 13
In addition to being the date by which undergraduates must decide whether they want to live on or off campus, April 13 will be the deadline for undergraduates to declare early graduation, intentions for a 9th semester, and interest in the Senior Segue plan for housing purposes.
Vallay said that she typically reminds students of the deadline in early March and gives students a few weeks to respond.
Students can make any of the above declarations at the Web site http://web.mit.edu/housing/undergrad/calendar.html.