About 150 students participated in an orderly two-hour sit-in outside President Charles M. Vest's office Friday afternoon to protest the decision to house freshmen on campus starting in 2001. The demonstration was organized by MIT Choice, a student group formed in September.
The students, who carried signs and chanted "Choice/Not Change," convened in Lobby 7 at 12:30pm and marched upstairs one flight to Building 3 about 15 minutes later. They sat against both walls in the corridor outside the President's offices.
"While the participants do not feel that the housing system is without flaw, they do not support a change which would severely limit the diversity of residence options for students," MIT Choice said in a press release.
While there, the students exchanged views with Chancellor Lawrence Bacow, Professor (and President Emeritus) Paul Gray, Chair of the Faculty Steven Lerman and Dean for Student Life Margaret R. Bates before dispersing. Others at the event included Associate Deans Kirk Kolenbrander and Kim Vandiver, and Paul Parravano of the Office of Government and Community Relations.
President Vest was not in his office during the sit-in.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 10, 1999.