Freshmen choose to stick with New House

The future of New House — which might include demolition or renovation after May 2017 — is uncertain.

What is certain is that the current New House building will not house residents in the coming years, making way for work crews who will address issues caused by flood damage and corroded steam risers.

Incoming freshmen were not formally informed of the development when filling out their housing lottery. However, the news circulated widely last spring, and New House government informed all new residents upon arrival. This raised concerns that freshmen would rank New House low on the housing lottery list or use FYRE to move to another dorm.

Despite the impending closure, many freshmen don’t appear to have changed their opinions about the dorm.

The Tech spoke with several New House freshmen about their experiences with the plans. Conrad Goffinet ’20 recalled that he had heard about the plans for New House while filling out the housing application.

The news “did not affect my decision,” he said. Though Goffinet later did switch to East Campus, he said he moved because he “enjoyed the culture more and had also made friends in East Campus.”

Other residents factored the news into their FYRE considerations; many looked more seriously into FSILGs. However, given the inconvenience of packing and unpacking and the strength of connections already made, most have chosen to stay for this year.

Interviewed freshmen have cited a number of reasons for picking New House, including spacious rooms and facilities, meal plan flexibility, and, most importantly, dorm culture.

House 5 resident Alexa Guan ’20 explained that she was drawn to the opportunities to interact with people of different cultural backgrounds. Regarding her decision to stay in the dorm, she emphasized the kindness and support she and the other freshmen have received from the people of New House.

Alonso Espinoza Dominguez ’20, a Spanish House resident, summarized a feeling that many other New House freshman can echo: “Once here, I was able to witness just how awesome of a community this is, further convincing me I made the right choice.”

That sense of community will soon be put to the test. The New House government has reassured residents that, in spite of the impending lack of a physical house, they “can be assured that we do take care of each other.”