More on the Housing Shortage

The Daily D‘s opinion page has seen a continuation of the housing discussion. Yesterday, Rachel Bernhard ’08 raised the point that it made no sense to punish seniors, who are one of two classes on for all three terms.

I certainly sympathize with sophomores and juniors who have an erratic and often-changing D-plan. I’ve applied for housing from a different continent, I’ve changed my D-plan after the deadline, and I’ve been without a consistent roommate since freshman year. It sucks.

However, why should someone who may be on-campus once during the fall-winter-spring year have a stronger claim to a nice room than I do? Why can’t ORL help seniors find places that accommodate their needs? Trying to find, say, a single within walking distance of campus that costs something comparable to College housing with six months notice is more difficult than it sounds.

In today’s paper, Corey Chu ’08 gives seven proposals for alleviating the housing crunch. Here are a couple of the suggestions:

Second: create temporary housing. Although Treehouse-quality housing may incur mixed opinions, a sufficient number of students would likely choose sub-par on-campus housing over no on-campus housing at all. Let students have that choice.

Third: build dorms with more than four floors. If the College is constrained by too little building space and too many students, then the next logical step would be to expand vertically. If each additional floor could house about 20 additional beds, four additional floors distributed throughout the campus would be the rough equivalent of a standard dorm. If the College can work with the Town of Hanover to allow construction of bigger dormitories, we could house more students with the same amount of building space.

Chu also claims that the Mass Row dorms will be out of commission when the 10s are seniors. If that’s true, it’s pretty grim news.

P.S. Chu seems to misunderstand the new Princeton proposal in proposal #5. Their plan will not take 100 freshman off-campus, but rather give them a gap-year—in effect, postponing their enrollment for one year. This would alleviate the housing crunch only in the first year it was implemented.

P.P.S. If the administration knew a housing shortage was coming, why did they tear down all of the treehouses?