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Officials said that current residents could stay in the dorm until 2002. In response to vocal protests from graduate students living in Mayer Hall, University officials announced that they will allow current residents to stay in their rooms until 2002, while the facility gradually becomes all-undergraduate. But some current tenants of Mayer are not satisfied with the offer and want to remain in Mayer until they complete their degrees. A group of Mayer Hall residents drafted an angry letter to University President Judith Rodin last night demanding that they be permitted to remain in Mayer and asking Rodin to discuss the issue of graduate housing on campus with them. "They haven't really given us an appropriate alternative," said Danielle Kradin, whose husband is a graduate student doing post-master's studies in Psychobiology. "They're just not accommodating us. They're not accommodating the needs of married couples." In a letter delivered to graduate residents of Mayer late last night, housing officials gave tenants the option of staying in their current rooms for two more academic years and offered them moving assistance if they chose to relocate to the Sansom Place facilities -- formally known as the Graduate Towers -- at the end of this year. The letter came in response to Thursday's meeting between officials and concerned residents in which many residents were visibly upset about the decision to move all graduate students out of the residence by next fall. "It was fairest to offer everyone what we judged to be the most supportive possible set of alternatives," Director of College Houses and Academic Services David Brownlee said. Brownlee said the offer to allow students to stay in the dorm for the next two years addresses concerns that residents expressed last week about the immediacy of the transition. The dorm's conversion into an undergraduate residence was originally scheduled to take place over the next few years. "A reasonable complaint was that people wanted to know long in advance," Brownlee said. "This is 2 1/2 [years] in advance and I think that's a sufficiently long time." But many residents are still upset about Mayer's conversion, saying that other on-campus housing options for graduate students are insufficient for married couples and families. "In five years, it does not appear there will be any place on campus for married couples, with or without children," said Shawn Aster, a doctoral student in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. "It's unfair to a lot of students." The letter, signed by over 40 Mayer residents, cites concerns about the financial and academic strains of moving as well as the lack of facilities for couples with children on campus. "It is entirely possible to accomplish the University's goal of integrating more undergraduates into Mayer Hall while maintaining some floors for graduate students," the letter says. It then notes that "such a step would mitigate the inconsiderate and callous manner in which the University has informed students of its intention." Residents also said they will feel out of place living in Mayer next year if it is primarily an undergraduate residence without graduate student programming or facilities. "We have every right to live on this campus," Kradin said. "I'm not going to stay here as a guest." Officials announced plans last semester to make Mayer -- part of Stouffer College House -- all-undergrad over the next few years, a program that began this fall with the conversion of two of the facility's six floors to undergraduate dorms. Transforming Mayer into an undergraduate facility will meet the increasing demand for undergraduate housing on campus as well as bring the facility in line with the two-year old college house system.

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