Housing plans for next year were finalized this week when Residential Life released the 2007 Housing Lottery Information online. Changes for next year include upperclass students in East and West halls, a new quiet dorm for first years, and new chem-free residences.
Next year all six of the historic bricks, as well and East and West halls, will be first-year dorms. Students who live in the bricks will live in three-room quads, while students who live in East and West will live in two-room doubles, as opposed to the current mix of doubles and triples.
"The East and West buildings were built intending for them to be doubles in the long term," said Kim Pacelli, director of residential life. Though some students have suggested keeping them as triples, Residential Life decided against the idea.
"The buildings weren't really built to withstand that kind of capacity in the long term," said Pacelli, citing the limited availability of showers and sinks as an example.
Though East and West will be first-year dorms, the top floors of both buildings will house upperclassmen. Having upperclass students and first years housed together is not new; in the past, the fourth floor of Coleman Hall has been available to older students as well.
"We knew all along that we'd have extra space," said Pacelli. "We went with East and West because the double configuration there makes it a more likely space for sophomores."
Because East and West are bigger than the other bricks, having one less floor of first years will be convenient for the College House System, as this will result in each college house having approximately the same number of affiliates.
The Class of 2011 will be the first to have the opportunity to live in a "quiet" dorm, provided there is enough interest from students.
Pacelli expects that a quiet dorm will draw some students away from chem-free housing. This pilot program will take place in Moore Hall, which will be affiliated with Reed House, one of the new college houses. Though Moore will have guidelines about noise, Reed may not.
"Students are interested in developing what that would look like," said Pacelli, indicating that residents of both Moore and Reed would work together next year to decide, possibly by taking a vote. Some Reed applicants, however, were under the impression that the house was guaranteed to be quiet.
"Some people found that really misleading," said Kata Solow '10.
A quiet dorm for upperclass students other than Reed was also considered. There was not, however, an obvious choice for a building that would be designated as quiet.
Next year, however, Residential Life is considering the possibility of implementing a quiet plan for Chamberlain Hall.
"Though students who choose the quads will sometimes host parties, for the most part that building is pretty quiet," said Pacelli. However, Chamberlain is not formally designated as quiet housing for the upcoming year.
Students have also been concerned with the availability and location of chem-free housing. In particular, some students who plan to live in chem-free housing next year felt that the selected residences, such as Stowe Inn, give the impression that the College is trying to push them off campus.
Pacelli assures, however, that this is not the case.
"It's really hard because there aren't a plethora of residence halls in the campus for upperclass students," she said. "Residence halls for upperclass students in general are on the periphery."
In an effort to equalize location from campus, however, three of the Brunswick Apartments near the back of the complex will be chem-free next year.
"Some of the chem-free people felt like they were being pushed off campus, but I personally don't think that's the case," said Jacqueline Abrams '08. Citing the Brunswick Apartments as an example, she said that "you can be chem-free in a place that's not chem-free."
Concerns about the availability of chem-free housing were also raised, but Pacelli attested that there are enough beds to meet the demand.
Pacelli said she didn't anticipate that many more than 160 students would enter the chem-free lottery and select chem-free housing.