Members of the Winthrop House housing committee voiced serious misgivings yesterday about plans to relocate residents from several upperclass houses to the DeWolfe Street apartment complex next year.
The new housing measures threaten opportunities for rising seniors to obtain private bedrooms, committee leaders Paul Henrys '91, Eric Columbus '93 and Kermit Roosevelt '93 said. Floorplans for the annex indicate that there are no single bedrooms in the complex, and seniors who are transferred there would have to live in doubles or triples.
"It's not as if it were written down that seniors always get singles, but it was always understood that way," Henrys said.
The plan, mandated by University Hall and approved by house masters last month, would reassign nearly 200 current residents of Dunster, Eliot, Kirkland, Mather and Quincy Houses to the DeWolfe annex. The extra spaces in these houses will be filled by undergraduate transfer students from Dudley House, which will be converted to a graduate student housing facility.
Administrators said they were perplexed by the Winthrop House furor over the move to the DeWolfe complex, saying that the accomodations in the new building are equal, if not superior, to those at the houses.
"This is an enormous gain to the college," said Thomas A. Dingman '67, associate dean of the college. "We think that the new space will have a sizeable influence. The complex is beautifully configured, has very large rooms, kitchen facilities and even cable TV hookups."
Dingman further added that the DeWolfe annex is actually a very popular alternative for many undergraduates.
"We've had a number of students clammering to get into it," he said.
However, students in Winthrop said they were unhappy because they felt they had been unofficially guaranteed singles in their senior year.
"I think a lot of rising seniors are upset because we were told we would receive singles," said Winthrop resident Shannon Willey '92. "A lot of us have had less than perfect rooms, but we didn't mind because we knew we would get singles as seniors."
"We're trying to get the best deal possible for all students," Henrys said, "but University Hall is making it difficult for us. If the 33 new students at Winthrop were all sophomores, we wouldn't have a problem, but we're getting half sophomores, half seniors, and now it looks like seniors are going to have to double up," he said.
Construction of the DeWolfe apartment complex, originally designed as faculty housing, is currently in its final stages. It will hold approximately 200 undergraduates and eight tutors. Harvard has said that once the DeWolfe complex is fully occupied, the University will cease renting apartments from Harvard Real Estate.
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