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Dean Monro said yesterday that freshmen with a strong preference for entering one House should "definitely express that preference, and it will definitely be listened to."
This year's freshmen will be the first to apply to the Houses under a new system, which does not ask applicants to name first, second, and third-choice Houses. Freshmen have been told that if they have a "substantial preference" for one House, they can express it in a letter to Monro.
"We're decided not to define that word 'substantial,'" the dean said yesterday. "I don't think we'd consider a preference for some style of architecture, or for one House dining hall a sufficient reason. But we'll weigh each individual case."
Asked whether the new Faculty Committee on House Admissions would consider a preference for one House's dramatic or musical society a weighty enough reason, Monro said "We'd certainly think about that."
Another open question under the new system has been the number of freshmen a Master will be permitted to select for his House before the names are thrown into a pool to be distributed evenly. Monro said no decision had been reached on this; "but they'll know about the people who have expressed an interest in their House.
"I expect we'll be hearing from the Masters in all kinds of ways," Monro said. He added that most of the House staffs would hold interviews for freshmen in the spring.
The House applications process will be finished two weeks earlier than usual under the new system. House assignments will be mailed out on May 1.
Freshmen will be asked the names of their prospective roommates and, as usual, no roommate group will be broken up.
Application forms will be sent to freshmen March 1, and Houses will hold interviews during the first two weeks in March. Applications, and letters to the dean, will be due March 18.
Under the old system, freshmen were interviewed by each of the Houses to which they applied. Masters were permitted to accept a certain number of the freshmen who had applied to their House as first choice. Then Houses which had few first-choice applications were permitted to "raid" the
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