Freshmen set to crowd MacGregor

Larger freshman class will squeeze dorms

CORRECTION TO THIS ARTICLE: This article reports a number that was relayed to The Tech in error. The class of 2014 will not have "around 1,300" students. According to Dean of Admissions Stuart Schmill '86, MIT is planning to enroll 1070 students for the class of 2014, the same target for last year's incoming class.

The incoming freshman class is so large that eight lounges in the MacGregor high rise will be converted into doubles starting fall of 2010.

Karen Nilsson, the outgoing senior associate dean for Student Life said that the class of 2014 might have around 1,300 students, which means that around 110–120 freshmen would have to be squeezed into the existing dorms.

Other dorms such as East Campus, Burton Connor, and McCormick will also be crowded to provide space for the larger freshman class.

In the past, MacGregor has been a last resort when there is lack of beds available on campus. The doubles are converted back to lounges as soon as space becomes available elsewhere on campus.

This time, The crowding in Macgregor is part of “a loan program” between MacGregor and the Division of Student Life in preparation for the Institute’s need for additional bed space before renovation of the W1 residence hall is completed. Once W1 opens, the lounges will be returned to MacGregor.

According to Daniel D. Hawkins ’12, vice chair of the UA Dining Proposal Commitee, there is no longer a goal date for the completion of W1, a $90 million project.

“[MIT President] Susan Hockfield said that if they get all the funding by June, they can finish by Fall of 2011,” Hawkins said. “But that is probably not going to happen.”

A donor has been found to finish the exterior of the building, but there a lot of work remains to be done for the inside, Hawkins said.

According to Munther A. Dahleh, one of MacGregor’s housemasters, MacGregor has had to convert its lounges into doubles around three times in the last 15 years.

In 2008-2009, the lounges in MacGregor were used by members of the former Alpha Tau Omega fraternity when a burst pipe flooded their chapter house. The members stayed for nearly two semesters and paid “rent,” some of which was given to the Macgregor government.

Now, the 16 students who get placed in these converted doubles will stay permanently.

“The policy of having temporary rooms is bad for students who want to a permanent community” Dahleh said.

The conversion at MacGregor will not require any renovation and consist of replacing lounge furniture with beds and room furniture.

Summer Housing

The Housing Strategy Group, chaired by Dean for Student Life Chris Colombo and Dean for Graduate Education Steven R. Lerman ’72, has been working on finishing up decisions about summer housing.

Three dormitories, East Campus, Next House, and New Ashdown (NW35) will be open this summer.

Dining during the summer has not yet been worked out. While East Campus has large, communal kitchens on each floor that residents may use, Next House only has its “country kitchen,” a single kitchen about the size of one of East Campus’ hall kitchens.

Nilsson says that the Housing Strategy Group is still working with Dining Services on what can be offered to students in Next House. No decision on whether the dining hall will be open has been reached.

Nilsson says that the Housing Office has arranged for summer storage of student belongings at the nearby Metropolitan Storage Warehouse, across Vassar St. from the Z-Center.

MIT students can rent a room in Metropolitan for $180 for the entire summer, provided they move their own possessions. That is discounted from the regular $75/month, or $225 rate.

Metropolitan will also offer pickup and delivery services for an additional $120. Transportation and storage of 10 items in a non-private room will be provided for a total of $300. Sign-up must be completed by next Friday, May 13.

Each dormitory has its own storage policies. Some such as Simmons have free storage space in the basement.

East Campus has traditionally had storage in the basement as well, but flooding this year is forcing residents to rely on off-campus storage. EC President Robin Deits ’11 suggests EC residents should take advantage of Metropolitan’s $180 deal. MacGregor residents will also not have any storage space because of summer renovations to the dorm.