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This past weekend probably marked the first time that anyone ever rode a bicycle through the halls of the Sheraton Commander Hotel north of the Cambridge Common.
Over the weekend the halls in one section of the hotel over-flowed with bicycles, footlockers, stereos, and other paraphernalia of college life as more than 160 Tufts students--mainly sophomores--took up residence for the year in hotel room.
This summer, when Tufts officials realized that they had more students than space to put them, they decided to house the overflow in the Sheraton Commander and run a shuttle bus between the hotel and the Tufts campus on the Medford-Somerville line.
Tufts officials said this summer that admissions officers underestimated the number of students who would accept offers of admission to the college, and consequently Tufts took in 350 more students than it can normally accommodate.
The school's housing office managed to squeeze into existing facilities almost half of the extra number. But the university still had to find more room, and consequently bought hotel rooms for the year, at a price both Tufts and Sheraton Commander administrators refused to disclose this summer.
The problem of over-enrollment is hardly unique to Tufts this fall. Other Boston-area schools forced to look for more housing this year include Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Tufts students staying at the Sheraton Commander, who start classes today, yesterday expressed widely divergent opinions of their new accomodations.
Two women sophomores who have been placed in a cramped room with an annoyingly bright-colored rug yesterday said they were dissatisfied. But two sophomore men who are living in a suite of two more spacious rooms and a kitchenette said they were pleased with their situation.
The long-term hotel guests had one main complain in common--the distance of about two miles to Tufts.
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