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8.8% of Freshmen Denied First Nine House Choices

By James Cramer

More than 130 freshmen will discover they have been denied their first through ninth House choices.

Only 16 freshmen received their bottom three choices last year.

More than 67 per cent of the class received their first choices, compared to 70.2 per cent the year before.

Francis M. Pipkin, associate dean of the Faculty for the Colleges, said the high percentage of students receiving their least popular choices shows "there is a problem with the choice system."

Neither Pipkin nor Dean Whitlock would discuss the data. They said they did not know why there was a rise in the number who received their bottom choices.

"We have never gone public on the relative popularity of Houses, even with the masters themselves," Whitlock said.

However, a source on the Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life, which examined the figures at a meeting last night, said it was evident at the meeting that many of the students who received their last choices will be going to Quadrangle Houses.

Pipkin said he wants the CHUL to come up with a "coherent plan" that could stop the trend of students being sent to Houses to which they do not wish to go.

Bruce Collier, assistant dean of the College, said last night that the CHUL will consider at its April meeting a modified version of the Yale plan as an alternative to the present House system.

Under the Yale plan students are assigned to Colleges (Harvard Houses' counter-parts) before they enter as freshmen.

Collier said that at first certain Yale colleges "were getting singled out" as undesirable units. But, he said, after the policy was installed the differences in students' perceptions of the colleges disappeared.

Whitlock said the CHUL will also discuss at its April meeting the priorities for students who wish to transfer to new Houses.

Although there were few problems last year when 92.7 per cent of the freshmen received their first through fifth choices, in 1973 only 83.8 per cent received their first through fifth choices.

That year 95 men and 10 women who had not chosen Radcliffe were assigned there to meet the CHUL directed 1.18 to 1 male-female ratio.

In 1973 the computer gave students housing assignments on the basis of choice, the CHUL House ratio, class rank, concentration, school background and masters' preference.

This year's computer only considered the 1.18 to 1 male-female ratio in the Quad and River Houses and the students' choices as criteria in the selection process. Student Choice and House Assignment Outcomes   %1st choice  % 1st-5th  % 1st-9th  %10th-12th 1973  45.7  83.8  --  -- 1974  70.2  92.7  99.1  0.9 1975  67.8  86.4  91.2  8.8

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