Although vacant suites suitable for sophomores are available in at least three River Houses, sophomores desiring to transfer from the Quad and elsewhere cannot occupy them because of a freeze on transfers imposed by the Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life (CHUL), last spring.
The freeze, which requires students to spend at least one semester in their assigned House before transferring, applies only to sophomores.
According to a survey of House secretaries Thursday, there are four vacant suites in Leverett House and four in Dunster House, all of which the House secretaries described as "sophomore rooms."
Quincy House also has two vacancies, but Robin Katcoff, Quincy House secretary, said the suites could be used by house juniors.
Marion Weil, Dunster House secretary, said that four "standard sophomore suites," each with one bedroom and one living room, are available in Dunster House. Most upperclassmen probably have nicer accomodations and would not want the rooms, she said.
Eleanor Marshall, assistant to the dean for housing, said Thursday the secretaries had not notified her about any spaces opening up for sophomores. Marshall said she is currently trying to fill all available vacancies with juniors and seniors.
In the past week, Marshall said, more than 25 sophomores, most of them from South House, have visited her office and asked to be transferred to a different House. In accordance with the CHUL ruling, Marshall told them they could not switch Houses until February.
In previous years, the Housing Office has tried to accommodate a large number of transfer requests from rising sophomores unhappy with their House assignments. The majority of requests came from Quad residents.
"I understand that the Quad wants the chance to give students time to get involved in activities and House life, but on the other hand it seems preposterous to keep rooms empty if they can be filled," Weil said.
Nobody But a Sophomore
Megan Healy, Leverett House secretary, said Thursday that sophomores should be allowed to transfer to fill the four vacancies in Leverett because she "can't imagine anybody but a sophomore wanting to live in them."
Last spring CHUL rejected a motion to lift the transfer freeze.
Amy Kyle '77, CHUL representative from Currier House, said last night she would favor a reconsideration of the freeze if the transfer of sophomores would "alleviate crowding in the Houses."
No other CHUL members contacted yesterday expressed any intention of bringing the issue before the committee when it meets on October 6.
Awaiting Experimental Results
CHUL representative Jonathan Leape '79 said last night that CHUL instituted the freeze to see whether students would be more satisfied with their House assignments after spending a semester in their house. He added that CHUL won't be able to tell if the experiment worked if it lifts the transfer freeze.
Kyle said she is "skeptical of that argument" but she sees little chance of CHUL reconsidering the transfer freeze unless it is linked to the crowding issue