College slips through housing crisis
Despite a housing waitlist that peaked at 400 in May and remained at 278 in July, all students who remained on the list received campus housing due to changes in enrollement patterns and creative housing solutions by the College.
During the summer, College administrators scrambled to find solutions to the second consecutive Fall housing crunch by housing students in faculty apartments and converted dormitory lounges and offering incentives to sophomores and juniors to change their enrollment patterns.
"The waitlist was reduced through a variety of ways, some people found their own off campus housing, some people we were able to house, some people changed their enrollment pattern and decided to take the term off," said Bud Beatty, associate dean of Residential Life.
Sixteen students were assigned to live in College-owned faculty apartments a short distance from campus. Many of the apartments, which house two students, contain a kitchen, bathroom, living room and bedroom.
As of yesterday there were eight students living in converted study rooms or lounges on the first floors of North Fayerweather and Richardson and the ground floors or Ripley and Smith residence halls.
"Our goal is to relocate as many of those students as we can," Beatty said. By the end of the week he hopes to move the eight students into rooms left vaccant by students changing their housing or enrollment plans.
Originally 24 students were assigned to lounges, which are equipped with everything found in dormitory rooms except a phone jack.
A few students agreed to take in an additional roommate for Fall term in exchange for a proportional reduction in room rent.
Twenty-two students took advantage of an offer made in August to change their Dartmouth Plans to be off campus during the Fall in exchange for a higher priority both for housing and getting into classes during their next term in residence in addition to a fifty percent reduction in room rent.
"Our problem is fundamentally one of unprecedented fall-term enrollment choices by students rather than the lack of housing," Dean of Faculty James Wright said in a letter written in August.
According to the registrar's office, as of last week ther were 3,845 students enrolled this term, about 100 more than last Fall.
Registrar Thomas Bickel said the greater enrollment is due to more juniors than normal being on campus. While 53 percent of the Class of 1995 spent their junior Fall on campus, 63 percent of the Class of 1996 are registered this term.
Beatty said most of the students on the original wait-list probably found off-campus housing.
"I think it was resolved trying to use a lot of creative solutions, we still have hundreds of students who are living off campus who didn't want to, who don't want to," Beatty said. "Even though the people who are here ... have a place to live, that still doesn't negate the fact that we have students living in places that they weren't planning on living."
Beatty said he did not expect to face a similar housing crunch in the Winter or Spring but cautioned it was impossible to know for sure.