Let CFS House Sophomores

by Nina Basu | 7/13/01 5:00am

To the Editor:

As I take a break from the intricacies of Dartmouth and Greek issues, I cannot help but notice the gigantic real estate quandary the administration has sunk into. Despite my well-known stance as a campus liberal, I would like to apply some simple market logic to the housing crisis at Dartmouth. Remove the inefficiencies of the housing market, and let sophomores live in CFS houses.

Currently, the administration offers incentives to the Class of 2005 to defer matriculation to Dartmouth for one year, and many older students do not yet have housing. Regardless of the professed wonders of the D-plan, many students, particularly sophomores, need to be here during Fall term in order to complete important courses towards their major, or want to take a class that is only offered in the fall. Surely, isn't education the point of enrolling in Dartmouth?

Ironically, many smaller Greek houses are struggling to fill their housing spaces with students. Since housing is awarded on a seniority basis, most 2002s and 2003s have housing, but the current sophomore class (2004) seems to be left out in the cold. Only juniors and seniors can live in CFS houses during the Fall and Winter terms. Smaller houses cannot fill their houses with boarders, losing income during a time when CFS houses need their income the most. Even more absurdly, the smaller, co-ed, and more diverse fraternities are the ones suffering the most -- in fact, the loss of revenue to co-ed houses could seriously hamper these institutions next year. This cannot be the goal of the administration.

The solution to these problems seems so simple -- let those with the commodity desired (CFS housing spaces) exchange it with sophomores who need it. I hate to break it to everyone, but nothing all that exciting, or anything that would negatively impact impressionable '04s, goes on at my house, nor probably at other houses. Five nights a week, we're dedicated students -- we study, hang out, eat, sleep, talk, think, etc. Occasionally we have a party, and we do have fun, but responsibly. We also maintain our house, support each other, and hold special events to include and welcome our boarders. Why is this supportive environment bad for '04s?

I have a lot of respect for Dean of Residential Life Martin Redman, Assistant Dean of Residential Life Cassie Barnhardt, Director of Housing Lynn Rosenblum, Assistant Dean of Residential Life Deb Carney and other ORL officials. I also believe that they are honest, and aren't conspiring to kill Greek houses (particularly the smaller co-ed houses)by starving them of funds. The solution to the housing problem seems so simple remove this hamper on the market, and let us trade housing spaces for rent. It's the American way.