Old Campus housing shifts, annex assigned

Administrators have decided where freshmen and annexed upperclassmen will live next year, presenting an Old Campus picture vastly different than this year’s housing scheme.

For the first time in recent years, administrators have allocated annex space to each college before housing draws are held in the spring. Yale will now house most annexed students in McClellan and Vanderbilt halls, whereas the majority of annexed students have lived in Durfee Hall in the recent past. This change will likely shift dormitory assignments for annexed students in five residential colleges and freshman assignments in four colleges.

The housing plans are based on estimated numbers of on-campus housing needs per college and are contingent on the size of the Class of 2005, Dean of Administrative Affairs John Meeske said.

The biggest changes include converting McClellan into solely upperclass annex space and Durfee into mainly freshman space, which is a rough reversion to the housing plan of two years ago.

Next year, Durfee — which has housed annexed upperclassmen for the past two years and is coveted for its location near the center of campus — will house 114 Morse freshmen and 16 annexed upperclassmen from Calhoun College.

Next year, 33 Jonathan Edwards College students will be annexed to McClellan Hall, along with 10 upperclassmen from Morse College and 43 from Trumbull College.

College deans requested McClellan not house freshmen because the dormitory is not large enough to house all the freshmen from any single college. JE and Trumbull students lived in McClellan for about a decade before the changes of 1999.

With annex space unavailable in Durfee, Berkeley and Branford colleges will house about 60 annexed upperclassmen in Vanderbilt along with those colleges’ freshmen. Few annexed students have traditionally lived in Vanderbilt.

Meeske said Berkeley and Branford freshmen will benefit from living in the same building as upperclassmen from their colleges. But administrators were unable to produce that situation with some colleges because the numbers do not add up.

Morse freshmen, for example, will live with Calhoun upperclassmen. Morse has not annexed many students to Old Campus in the recent past, and Calhoun has often annexed more than the amount of beds currently saved for them. Meeske said Calhoun might need to fit more than 16 students in the Durfee space allotted to it. Morse may not even need the 10 annex spaces allotted to it in McClellan, Meeske said.

In past years, the Yale College Dean’s Office has allocated annex space to colleges after their room lotteries have begun. This often meant that colleges such as JE that held early room draws got first pick of annex spaces. And last year Trumbull students panicked when administrators told them there might not be any more available annex space, Meeske said.

Although Trumbull students eventually received Durfee annex space, administrators decided last spring at the request of college deans to pre-assign the annex spaces to make the process more fair and organized.

“The main idea was that people thought it would be better if people knew in advance what was available to them,” Meeske said. “It would take away some of the worry.”

Pierson and Davenport College students will be annexed to some Park Street apartment spaces as needed as in the past, and Silliman and Saybrook colleges are not expecting to annex any students.

Students had mixed reactions to next year’s Old Campus housing plans.

JE sophomore Amy Drega said she and her friends were planning on being annexed to Durfee Hall, as JE juniors have been for two years. She said she is disappointed and surprised about the new arrangements.

“I don’t think McClellan has as good of a location,” Drega said. “I feel like we would be more mixed in with the freshmen.”

Some Morse sophomores said they are worried about being annexed so far away from their home college in McClellan.

“I wouldn’t want to live there,” Emily Wright ’03 said. “I think they could find something closer.”

Morse will still use its off-campus annex space on York Square Place but will likely need Old Campus space as well, Meeske said.

Other students said the annex plan seems fine.

“Vanderbilt is relatively close to Branford,” Branford sophomore Greg Hendrickson said. “It is not totally unreasonable.”

Still, Drega, Wright and Hendrickson all said they hope it is not them who ends up being annexed in the heart of the freshman quadrangle.

Meeske said he hopes students are ultimately satisfied with their housing arrangements, and he hopes these changes will accommodate students.

“Each year it’s a little bit different,” Meeske said. “We’re always tying to figure out what will be best, and you never know.”

If more students need annex space than there are rooms available — a situation that has not occurred in recent years –the administration will discuss other options, Meeske said.

One possibility would be to tweak the freshman class size by accepting fewer students off the waiting list, Meeske said. Right now, administrators are planning to accept 1,331 freshmen to the Class of 2005, but the number could be reduced to accommodate upperclass housing needs.

Yale does not guarantee housing to upperclassmen, but usually accommodates all on-campus housing requests.

After a space crunch caused a whirlwind of housing confusion last year as colleges struggled to find last-minute annex space, administrators decided to allocate annex space on Old Campus before this year's room draw. The new scheme places most of the annex students in Vanderbilt Hall, where they will share space with Berkeley and Branford College freshmen, and McClellan Hall, which will house only upperclassmen.
david sandler
After a space crunch caused a whirlwind of housing confusion last year as colleges struggled to find last-minute annex space, administrators decided to allocate annex space on Old Campus before this year's room draw. The new scheme places most of the annex students in Vanderbilt Hall, where they will share space with Berkeley and Branford College freshmen, and McClellan Hall, which will house only upperclassmen.

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