First-Year Receive House Assignments

Cries of joy and despair erupted in the Yard yesterday morning as first-years discovered their upperclass housing assignments.

The event is the culmination of the first-year housing lottery, which places first-year students into the residential houses where they will live for the next three years.

Students' opinions on their futures varied widely. "I'm psyched. I knew all along that I would get Adams House," said Elizabeth A. Flanagan '97, whose lottery number was a low 29 out of 393.

But the lottery winner, so to speak, was not so set on his housing assignment. Kawika B. Chetron '97, who entered the lottery as a floater, had number one in the lottery. he was assigned to Winthrop house.

Even Chetron, however, who also put down Eliot, Kirkland and Leverett "as a Quad-buster," said the popular house was not his favorite choice of the four. "I and got my third choice house," he said.

Many students randomized into house said they were disappointed with the results. Elizabeth S. Yellen '97, who was "Quadded" into Cabot House said "I am apprehensive about next year, because it's going to be very difficult since I [row crew]."

David L. Huang '97, who was assigned to Cabot, said he is now contemplating living off campus.

"The first thing I thought was that I need to go to the real estate office, and I went today to look at some options that are closer to the Yard," Huang said.

Anne B. Allison '97 who was randomized into Cabot, said that she was shocked by the news. She said that she did not even know where Cabot House was within the Quad. Allison, however, said she is now optimistic about next year.

"I love Harvard. I know people in the Quad and I think I'm going to be just fine. I just know that I'm going to need a bike and a heavy-duty back-pack," Allison said.

Not everyone who was "Quadded" was unhappy. Nathaniel B. Riley '97, whose blocking group was also placed into Cabot, said he appreciates certain aspects of the Quad.

"I really value big rooms," Riley said "I want a place I can call home, and I'm willing to go the distance to get there."

Some groups said they hoped to live in the Quad when they entered the lottery. Shelby E. Waston '97 said the students in her blocking group were looking forward to living in the Quad, and were surprised when they were assigned to Adams House, their fourth choice.

"It's odd that we didn't have a low lottery number and got Adams, [Which was a popular choice]," she said.

Other students also said they believe that thehousing lottery is not as random as it ispurported to be. Some said they believed that thelottery system is in fact rigged.

Thomas A. Dingman '67, associate dean for thehouses system, said that the system is not fixedin any way.

"I'm not surprised [by the claim], but thesystem is absolutely not rigged. All the computerknows about a blocking group is its size and thegender of the people within the block," Dingmansaid.

Each year, about 12% of all first-year studentsare randomized, Dingman said. Though thesestatistics are not released by Harvard, aninformal Crimson poll showed that many of therandomized students were placed into Cabot,Currier, Quincy and Leverett.

Dingman said that the housing office receivedto complaints from unhappy first-year studentsyesterday.

Catherine M. Millett, housing officers for thecollege, said that she thinks this year has been agreat one for the housing lottery, and isenthusiastic about the technological advances inthe system. This was the first year that studentscould enter their housing lottery choices fromcomputers in their dorm rooms.

"We hope next year that we can send the housingselections over the network in addition to thetraditional door mailing." Millett said. "Also, wewant the first-year students to be able tocommunicate to their future house over thenetwork, and hope to offer our book, Inside theHouses, on the network also."

Millett, who is also responsible for studentswho wish to transfer to another house, said that244 students applied this year to transfer, andthat 144 students succeeded in doing so.

She said that transfer students are few andthat most people who are initially unhappy withtheir house and up staying there