Leverett House, the annual oversubscribed favorite among freshmen, plummeted to a surprising sixth place in first choice applications this year, reliable sources revealed yesterday.
Dean Watson would not comment on the ranking of the Houses. He did confirm, however, that about 80 per cent of the class were accepted by one of their three choices, compared to about 85 per cent last year. 60 per cent will go to their first choice House; 63 per cent did so last year.
Adams House was the most popular this year, for the first time since the Leverett boom began with the construction of the two eleven-story. Towers. Lowell, Quincy, and Winthrop ranked second, third and fourth with the Class of '67. Eliot House edged out Leverett, and Dunster and Kirkland received the fewest first choice applications, it was reported.
Stanley N. Katz '55, Allston Burr Senior Tutor in Leverett House, suggested last night that the sharp drop in applications is due to a "general attitude among freshmen that they would not get in."
Both the Crimson Key tour of the Houses and the Leverett House Committee literature for freshmen, he said, discouraged applications on the basis of the huge number in previous years. "In view of the perennial overapplications, your applications--but not your hopes--are encouraged," the House Committee's widely-circulated information sheet said.
Observers commented yesterday that the novelty of modern architecture may have finally worn off for the freshmen. Some have suggested that this will permit the selection process to work more effectively in the future.
The drop in Leverett's popularity does, in fact, seem to have allowed for a better distribution in the number of applications to each House. The distribution was "considerably better than it has been for years," Watson said, and almost all the Houses had enough applications to fill their 70 per cent selection allowances themselves.
New problems, however, have prompted Watson to remark that the selection process "could be improved considerably, still preserving the tone of the Houses."
The reason fewer freshmen attained one of their choices this year than last, according to Watson, is that roommate groups were very poorly distributed among the Houses. More than in any year since the current selection process was adopted, each interest group or area in the Rank List concentrated on a particular House.
"We had to step in and break up the groups with a little bit of juggling," Watson said. Since the "excellence of the class was not distributed in accordance with the established 'quotas,'" there was soue degree of "raiding" by all the Masters.