11% of Freshmen to Receive Bottom Three House Choices

More than 175 freshmen will discover today that they received one of their bottom three House choices, figures released yesterday by the dean's office show.

Although the dean's office refused to provide a House-by-House breakdown, Bruce Collier, assistant dean of the College, said yesterday that more freshmen will be sent to the Quad Houses against their will this year than were sent there last year.

Most of the 144 students who received one of their bottom choices last year were sent up to the Quad.

However, Collier added that an increase in Quad House room vacancies caused by a high number of graduating seniors explains the increase, and not any increased resentment of the Quad Houses.

"The Quad Houses were somewhat more popular than last year," Collier said.

The increased size of the freshman class, about 45 more students than in last year's class, also helps explain the increase in the number of students receiving their bottom choices, Collier said.

More than 56 per cent of the freshman class received their first choices, 10 per cent fewer than received their top choices last year.

Bad Luck

The new House choice system, in which students are given lottery numbers, partially explains the decrease in those receiving their first choices. Under the old system the dean's office tried to maximize the number of students receiving their first choices.

But Collier said that the new system performed slightly better for those students who did not receive their first two choices.

Last year when many freshmen discovered that they were sent to the Quad against their will, there were scattered protests and mass applications to transfer to the River Houses as soon as room opened up.

But this year, under the new Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life ruling, people assigned to one of their bottom-choice Houses must spend at least one semester in the House before they may transfer.

More Low Choices

Besides those students who will be sent to the Quad against their will, Collier said a large percentage of students will be sent to River Houses that were low on their lists.

An increased percentage of graduating seniors coming from unpopular River Houses explains the increase in the number of students receiving low River House choices, Collier said.

The large number of students receiving their last choices presents a stark contrast to the figures for two years ago when only 9 per cent of the freshman class received their bottom three choices.