We feel that the provision of well-maintained housing for all undergraduate students and at least half of the graduate student population, is important enough to warrant the capital expenditures we have proposed, to create new housing and upgrade old housing. Having safe, clean, comfortable and affordable living space requires the allocation of Institute funds. By providing the "House" for MIT's students, MIT brings its community together and enhances the total education at MIT.
We feel that resident-directed programming can have a positive effect on a student's feeling at home within a particular living group. We recognize that there is diversity among the living groups, and therefore programming which is specific to a particular group will help to foster the unique spirit which exists within that group. We also feel that peer support is vital in maintaining the student's educational, emotional and moral security. We have observed the value of informal peer support within living groups and think that such support might be expanded and formalized, so that living groups are recognized for the strong role they play in bettering a student's educational experience. We feel that house dining, both in the form of serviced dining halls and in kitchens, can also play a part in fostering interaction among people in a particular living group, thus helping a living group to function more like a family. Therefore the reopening of dining halls and the renovation of existing kitchens should be a priority.
Lastly we feel that allowing students to make as free and informed a choice as possible regarding the group within which they will live is vital to maintaining the diversity of living groups and providing students maximum happiness and security in their living environment. A home in the strictly temporary sense, especially when it only lasts for one week, is not a home, and therefore a permanent living group can be selected before arriving at MIT to provide security. However, students will have more information about the living groups after being at MIT for some time. Therefore, students should have as great an opportunity as possible of changing their respective living groups to find a place in which they feel more "at home."
We feel that a strong House Fellows program along with the strengthing of the House Masters program will help to foster community by establishing relationships between students and faculty. We also feel that campus-wide events hosted by living groups have the potential to create closer relationships among people from different living groups and draw faculty, staff and administrators to participate in the residence system. Providing access into public areas of different houses for members of the MIT community is another step in bringing the community together.
We feel that renovations to residence halls and other centers vital to student life, specifically Walker and Stratton, would provide better space in which to support the MIT community at large. We also feel that a residence-based dining program could benefit the community by bringing members of the larger MIT community directly into specific residence halls. We feel that the system of residence selection, allowing students greater freedom to move from one living group to another, would bring the community closer by establishing more inter-group relationships.
The Student Life Council will be the most important mechanism in supporting the new MIT community. It will provide many benefits to the community, such as organization, leadership, and planning by students, faculty and staff, in a coordinated manner never-before-seen at MIT. Most importantly, the Student Life Council will monitor student life at MIT to make sure that the goals that we have set for the residence system, and the community at large, are met.