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Students attempt to boost substance-free options for housing

While the number and location of upperclass substance-free and smoke-free rooms for this year's room draw will remain unchanged, some students hope to expand the initiative in future years.

USG senator Jo Chen '00 said he is leading a project to better adapt the recently implemented substance-free housing to students' needs.


The limited pilot program, available to rising juniors and seniors, began on a small scale last spring with sections of Edwards Hall designated as substance-free housing and rooms in 1901 Hall reserved as smoke-free.

This year there are only 39 students participating in the program, with 29 of them living in Edwards and 10 in 1901.


Chen said he is primarily looking to make the program more well-known, to expand the number of rooms available and to improve the quality of the rooms that are offered.

"Ultimately, I would like to see an entire building for nonsmokers," Chen said in early December, before the housing committee decided to maintain the status quo.

Chen said he plans to include a survey with this spring's room draw guide that would give administrators and students involved with the program a more comprehensive idea of how students feel about substance-free housing.

Before winter break, a substance-free housing survey was distributed as part of one of USG president Spencer Merriweather '00's campus-wide emails. Chen said the USG received more than 300 responses with various comments regarding substanceand smoke-free housing. The results of this survey were to be used to guide members of the undergraduate housing committee in making decisions about this year's substanceand smokefree rooms.


Coordinator of Undergraduate Housing Adam Rockman explained that substance and smoke free rooms are not the best available rooms on campus. "Rooms that we use are middle-of the-draw rooms," Rockman said. "We're not going to change that in the future."

However, despite the housing committee's efforts, some students said they did select substance-free housing to receive a better draw time.

Tiffany Fung '00, who is currently living in one of Edwards' allotted substance-free rooms said, "I love the location of Edwards. I wanted a single that was fairly large, and I knew I'd get a relatively good draw time."

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