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This past weekend the halls in one section of the Sheraton Commander Hotel flowed with bicycles, footlockers, stereos and other paraphenalia of college life as more than 160 Tufts undergraduates--mostly sophomores--took up residence for the year in hotel rooms.

Tufts has more students than it can accommodate on campus this fall because of over-enrollment. More students accepted the school's offers of admission than the admissions office had expected, so when officials added up the numbers early this summer they began negotiations with the hotel.

The problem is not unique to Tufts. Other Boston-area schools forced to look off campus for extra housing this year include Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

But Tufts is the only one that is seeking to share Harvard facilities to ease the displaced students. Tufts officials have approached Harvard about allowing Tufts students at the Sheraton Commander campus to use Hilles Library, and the officials have also looked into providing food for the expatriate undergraduates at Harkness Commons, the Law School dining facility.

Thomas Winant, dean of students at Tufts, said yesterday that Tufts had discussed with Harvard the possibility of letting Tufts students use Hilles, but said Dean Fox had rejected the bid.

Dean Fox said yesterday that the discussion with Tufts was not yet complete and declined to comment further on the matter.

But it appears likely that if enough students express an interest they will be able to take three meals a week at Harkness Commons. Rachel Raven, manager of the facility, said yesterday she sees no major obstacles to the plan.

Tufts students a least know where they will be for the rest of the year. Almost 100 Boston College freshmen are now living out of suitcases in the Boston West Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge two miles from the school's main campus.

Although students contacted this week say they are enjoying color televisions, air conditioning and maid service, they are generally unhappy with the school's tenative promises to move them back to the regular campus some time in October after a count of on-campus vacancies.

Most of the 38,000 students in Northeastern University's various schools live off campus, but more students wanted on-campus housing this year than the usual 3000, so Northeastern leased the sixth and seventh floors of the Boston YMCA to accomodate about 140 of the extras, and the school is leasing apartment space to take in another 40, Ruth Zung, staff assistant to the university's housing office, said yesterday.

B.U. had to find space for about 600 extra students this year, and placed 200 in buildings on Commonwealth Avenue and Beacon Street.

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