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Most surveyed students oppose new housing policy

The MIT student body opposes by a 7-to-1 margin the requirement that all freshmen live on campus, according to a survey conducted by the Undergraduate Association.

The web-based UA Referendum on Housing conducted from October 17-25 also showed that undergraduates strongly support the current rush system for both residence halls and FSILGs.

The poll on the plan to house freshmen on campus was 1,004 against and 144 in favor. The 1,048 participants represent roughly 25 percent of the undergraduate student body, which UA President Paul Oppold said was a typical turnout for a UA election.

"The undergraduate student body has sent two messages loud and clear," said Matt McGann, co-chair of the UA Committee on Housing and Orientation. "One is that the students are not happy about the decision to house all freshmen on campus. The other is that, in light of this decision, the students do not want to see their housing choice opportunities further erode by losing dorm rush."

The Interfraternity Council voted unanimously on September 23 to oppose the decision to house freshmen on campus starting in 2001. The UA Council tabled a resolution Tuesday night that recommended the new dormitory be substance-free, primarily due to concerns that if the new dorm is going to be fully integrated by age group, it would be unduly restrictive to residents over 21 -- the 50 graduate students and 10 faculty members slated to live there.

The UA survey results followed an October 21 vote by the IFC Presidents Council to recommend that the new dormitory scheduled to open in 2001 be substance-free. All sororities are now substance-free and several fraternities have voted to become so by 2001-2. Residence halls have not yet considered the issue.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 4, 1998.

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