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College administrators yesterday said they are willing to discuss demands from residents of 29 Garden St. for special priority in the spring housing lottery.
Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57 said he recognizes that the first-years of 29 Garden St. had encountered a "different" experience from other first-years.
But the dean said he wondered whether the first-years are facing a tougher situation than their classmates in the Yard and Union dorms.
"I question whether their experience is that different," said Jewett.
Thomas A. Dingman, associate dean for housing, said the focus should be on making this year comfortable and enjoyable for 29 Garden St. residents before talking about compensating them for current hardships.
"We should be doing all we can to make sure that this year works for them," he said.
In addition, Dingman cited "increased elbow room" and kitchens as pluses for residents.
"Some people feel that what's been provided more than makes up for the inconvenience," he said.
But both deans remained skeptical about granting first-years of 29 Garden St. priority in the housing lottery, citing serious logistical stumbling blocks.
"In theory, you could have every [blocking] group have someone from 29 Garden St. in them, if they spread themselves around," said Jewett.
"Everyone would want to get on board," said Dingman.
Dingman also said that, under such a scheme, the way students choose their blockmates may be severely restricted. Students would have to choose between rooming with a friend not from 29 Garden St. and getting a priority housing choice, he said.
"Who you live with is more important than where you live," he said.
Student leaders yesterday said they were pleased at the open-mindedness of the deans, but said they were unsure how to iron out the apparent complications in their proposals.
"I understand the logistics are difficult," said Randall A. Fine '96 of the Undergraduate Council's residential committee. "In principle, people in 29 Garden St. should be given some sort of preferential treatment."
Fine, a resident of Wigglesworth, has adopted the cause of the 29 Garden St. first-years as his pet project and said, through the council, he plans to hammer out a plan giving them housing priority.
Cynthia D. Johnson '96, the council representative from 29 Garden St., said she plans to join Fine to come up with a workable plan.
"We feel that it's worth the time and effort to work it out," she said. "It's something 29 Garden St. residents deserve."
Fine suggested a possible compromise plan under which a few first-years would be permitted to join a primarily 29 Garden St. rooming group and get priority.
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