As Quincy House construction approaches its completion date of September, 1959, the Masters and the Administration are now occupied with the problem of reevaluating room rents. It has long been a question of considerable complexity, but the addition of an eighth House with nearly identical rooms makes it even more knotty.
At present, the Masters' considerations take on a double aspect. First is the question of room rates for Quincy, while the second in concerned with rent adjustment problems which will arise when suites are "deconverted" in the present Houses. The two are somewhat intertwined, as the number of deconversions will depend on how many upperclassmen are moved from their present quarters into Quincy next Fall.
Opinions on rent rates for the Eighth House are sharply divided between uniform prices for all rooms and a system of differentiation similar to the one which now exists in the House systyem. If the latter alternative is adopted, the problem immediately arises, how is such a differentiation to be made in a House which has no striking factors to set one room apart from another, except for the rather trivial ones such as view and proximity to the elevators that will eliminate the stair-climbing inconvenience which is a strong factor in present ratesetting.
Administration Must Decide
With regard to the present Houses, the Master's committee and the Administration will have to make a decision on what to do about pricing deconverted suites. As Arthur D. Trottenberg '48, Manager of Operating Services, points out, the rooms are presently priced to meet operating expenses of the Houses. If a three-man suite is deconverted to accommodate two men, either these two will have to split the slack left by the loss of a third man, or the rent adjustment program will have to account for the difference.
All of these dilemmas center around the question of whether or not students should pay what they can afford to pay regardless of the fact that some other student may be getting the same quarters for half the price.