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Where I gonna live? Hey kids! ("Kids" in this case being defined as "single graduate students.") Tired of living in that blasted cardboard box? Well, fear not. Here at MIT you can upgrade to the luscious comfort of concrete. Oh yes, we at MIT spare no expense to give you the finest in concrete living-boxes, which complement handsomely the fine concrete working-box in which you'll be spending the rest of your day. The concrete living-boxes come in four main flavors: Tang Hall, Edgerton House, Ashdown House, and Green Hall.

Tang Hall is the primary grad student living-box, and the official Tang Hall Page is here. The highrise houses a vast number of first-year grad students on its 24 floors. It has apartment style rooms consisting of 2-4 (small) bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, and a main room. One of Tang's more amusing features is that the bathrooms are windy. Not merely drafty, but actively WINDY. Howlingly so. That's right. No, I can't explain it either. One good thing about Tang is that it does constitute The Institute's primary wartime stockpile of the delicious orange beverage of the same name. In a Vitamin C emergency Tang would form the second line of defense if the 50,000 gallons of Kool-Aid stored in the spherical tank atop the Green Building were to be exhausted. You'll call it tall. You'll call it too damn far from the Bio building. You'll call it home.  

But seriuosly, Tang is quite a cheap place to stay (ranging from $400 to $500) and in some ways is a rather social hall in that the Tang Hall Residence Association tries to plan out alot of activities. Lots of first years often start out living in Tang, and so some pretty crazy parties get started and it's only a couple elevator stops. At least you get your own bedroom, and its fully furnished, so you can put off renting that Uhaul van. Tang is probably the farthest dorm from the Biology buildings, and walking takes at least 20 minutes one way. Some of us bike to class, while there is the handy CRTMA shuttle run by the GSC and MIT that stops at the back of Tang. There is also the SafeRide van that operates at night.

Edgerton House is by far the nicest of the graduate boxes. The official site is here. It's new, having been renovated in 1991. It features apartments with 1-4 (large) bedrooms, 1-1.5 bathrooms, and kitchens. It's also the closest dorm to the Bio building. It is a bit pricier than Tang (ranging from $600 to $800), but considerably less so than any comparable non-MIT apartment in Cambridge. The people who livein
Edgerton tend to be mostly reclusive types who never come out of their rooms except to complain if they suspect a neighbor of having fun. You may also have to bring in or buy lots of furniture to start out your place, because Edgerton has unfurnished rooms, unlike Tang or Ashdown. Sometimes, the cheapest way of getting furniture is to wait for the beginning of the school year when lots of other people are moving and want to sell their stuff cheap.  

Ashdown House
is the third Housing "Option" for Grad Students, and the official site is here. Yes, it's the cheapest place to stay, and it has the closest location to the center of the campus so walking to the
biology buildings is quick. But you do have to share a room with someone, and there are mainly just common kitchens. In fact, the building used to be really old hotel that the Institute "renovated" into a dorm.There is a dining hall as well as a couple TV rooms, recreation rooms, and big lounges where social events occur. In the basement is a small bar too called the Thirsty Ear. Ashdown has some trade-offs, but most people say it's okay because of the proximity and that the people there are the most social.  

Green Hall houses roughly 46 female grad students. Yes, it is solely a female hall and thus is not really a housing option if you have a Y chromosome. The hall is kind of small but has a unique and exclusive ambiance. It's also pretty close to the campus center, like Ashdown, and its furnished, but again, sharing a common kitchen can be a little annoying.

Now, what did I mean by "Option" in the previous paragraph? Getting into any of these lovely residences requires you to enter a Lottery, which is better than the State Lottery becasue it's free to enter but worse than the State Lottery because the prize


for winning is the privilege of paying the Institute lots of money every month. Bugger. Oh yes, I should point out that if you foolishly came to this page looking for actual information about student housing, you might be able to find some on the official MIT Graduate Housing site.

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Last Updated February, 2000. Bio99@MIT