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Randomization Decision Protested

Students to Write Harvard Clubs, Rally

By Sarah J. Schaffer

Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57 has made his decision to randomize the first-year housing lottery, but some students insist the battle is not over yet.

The dean announced Tuesday that, beginning with students in the class of 1999, first-years will choose blocking groups of up to 16 people in March, enter the housing lottery and be assigned randomly to one of the 12 undergraduate houses.

Dozens of posts on the newsgroup harvard.general in the past few days have suggested ways to protest the decision, including calling Jewett's office every five minutes until he changes his mind and postering at Commencement so that alumni will recognize student frustrations.

But the most concrete initiatives underway are a letter-writing campaign to Harvard Clubs across the nation, a meeting with Jewett during his office hours, a petition in Adams House and a rally on Tuesday.

Benjamin H. Torrance '95, who collected more than 200 signatures in March and April in favor of the Coalition Against Randomization, has gathered about 10 people to write letters to the presidents of the Harvard Clubs of their home cities.

The letter quotes the April Undergraduate Council poll, which found that 81 percent of students favored ordered choice or non-ordered choice over randomization.

Although Jewett wants to insure diversity in the houses through randomization, the letter reads, "we believe that randomization will contribute negligibly to diversity, at the expense of the character and personality that make the houses enjoyable and memorable; and it will disperse the talents and backgrounds of the students to infinitesimal levels, such that the bastions of the arts, atheleticism, etc. will cease to exist."

The letter encourages the presidents and alumni of the clubs to write or call Jewett to express their opposition to randomization.

"I think if enough alumni come through, write to Jewett or call Jewett, and express some sort of outrage about this decision, that would make a difference," said Torrance, a Dun- 5 JEWETT

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