FYRE results reveal disparity in dorm demand
This was the second year of the First Year Residence Exchange (FYRE), the process allowing freshmen to switch their dorm assignment. Participation dropped from 159 to 124 students. As of this year, students could no longer move into Maseeh Hall during FYRE, but the total number of moves increased from 96 to 107.
As in previous years, Baker house was the most popular dorm with 30 first choices of the 124 students who entered the lottery. Simmons followed with 22 first picks, and MacGregor with 16. In last place, with two move-in requests, was New House. New House also saw the most residents try to leave the dorm through FYRE — 24 percent of New House freshmen wanted to move out. Of these, only two lived in cultural houses. “The cultural houses use a mutual selection process, so students are not assigned to the houses unless it is one of their top choices and the individual agrees to the assignment,” said Connie Hemenway, a communications manager with the Division of Student Life. East Campus and MacGregor followed with 18 percent each.
Lucas A. Orona ’14, president of House 3, said that some houses within New House don’t have very many returning upperclassmen. “When freshmen get back here, the houses look vacant,” said Orona, “which turns a lot of freshmen off.”
Orona emphasized, though, that the number of freshmen trying to switch out of has been going down from over 60 percent three years ago, to 51 percent, to 44 percent, and now 24 percent. REX events incorporating every house, coupled with a bigger emphasis on REX and CPW, have contributed to the decrease, said Orona.
Additionally, New House is also in the peculiar position of having many open rooms, according to Orona, when some other dorms have forced triples. Hemenway stated that when students move out of New House, those rooms are then made open to students wanting to move in. “When you are talking about building vacancies, you also have to look at the demand for the building,” said Hemenway.