Residence System Implementation Team (RSIT)

Thursday, September 26, 2002  2- 3:00 p.m. in W20-491


Attendees: Barbara Baker, Chandra Mincher, Emily Cofer, Dan Chapman, David Rogers, Denise Vallay, Liz Young, Ellen Essigmann, Fran Miles, Grace Kessenich, Julie Norman, Katie O’Dair, Rick Gresh, TonyGray, Sarah Pierce, Fahad Fajani


Barbara Baker opened the meeting at 2:00 p.m. and thanked everyone for their time and efforts and asked they each person identify themselves and tell everyone their role as it relates to RSIT or professional responsibilities.


Agenda was distributed.


Barbara Baker - Associate Dean, Student Life Programs (SLP); Chairperson RSIT

Chandra Mincher- RLA

Emily Cofer - Chair, UA Committee on Housing and Orientation

Dan Chapman- Staff Associate, Freshman Programs

David Rogers- Assistant Dean, FSILGs

Denise Vallay- Assistant Director, Undergraduate Housing

Elizabeth Young- Assistant Dean, New Student Programs

Ellen Essigmann- Housemaster, Simmons Hall

Fran Miles- Assistant to the Director SLP

Grace Kessenich- DormCon President

Julie Norman- Associate Dean, Academic Resources & Programming

Katie O’Dair- Assistant Dean, Residential Life Programs

Rick Gresh – Assistant Director, SLP

Tony Gray- RLA

Sarah Pierce- Panhellenic Recrutiment Chair

Fahad Kajani- Orientation Coordinator


Not present: Josh Yardley, Vikash Gilja, Sherri Davidoff (Dormcon R/O Chair)


Barbara asks Emily if she has a co-chair on CHO and states that that person would be invited to future RSIT meetings. Emily states that there is someone who has to be approved by UA next week.


Three major items for agenda are identified with timeframes so we can accomplish everything within the hour.




Set context for work this term and as some of us know the determination was made that we would as group cease to exist by the end of the term.  Our role was to implement the Residential System Redesign according to the Bacow Report.


We would work to collect feedback info data related to assessing how the process works and come together to make some recommendations We would us using September and October to familiarize ourselves with the data and design ways to collect more info. Look at November and pull information together and issue a report to Larry Benedict and Bob Redwine with our recommendations by the end of the term. Three more meetings to be set.


We will have to set other meeting times.  The individuals who were not here apparently have conflicts. Adjust meeting time. We will try to get as many people here for the next meeting and could do a 5 p.m. meeting if need be.


Discussion of the first handout as it appeared in the Bacow Report. 


The Design of the New Res. System/Objectives lists the points that we were charged with doing along with  others that relate to FSILGs.  They also provide us with a philosophical direction.  Did we meet these objectives?  As we look at the assessment information we should refer back to the six points


“MIT's residence system has a character that distinguishes it from housing systems found at most other universities. In order to preserve its strengths while also addressing its weaknesses, we must try to optimize over a number of dimensions. These include:


Providing meaningful opportunities for freshmen to participate actively in the process of selecting their residence


Respecting the diversity of cultures that exist throughout the residence system with special attention to the status of the theme houses


Striking a balance between accommodating the desire of some students who wish to know where they will live immediately upon arrival at MIT, and the desire of others who wish to be able to visit dormitories personally before expressing final preferences


Ensuring that no student experiences rejection as their initiation to life at MIT


Respecting the existing house governance systems that match students to rooms, and in the process, help to create functioning communities


Enhancing the ability of parents and students to communicate during their first few days at MIT”


Assessment Overview & Additional Opportunities


Rick requested that we look at the September/October timeframe to ask questions and gather more information. We will have two upcoming opportunities.


Reference is made to Page 1 – 3 in Components of Evaluation of 2002 Changes (see attached) handout This information will help us evaluate the 2002 changes. Information regarding what the FSILG’s are doing is not included in the report.  All the information and forms are in the packet.  Once you read the report contact Rick via email with any questions and/or additions.


There are two additional opportunities for feedback.


1.     We will be going out to the individual houses to gather information on what occurred at the house level and speak to the core group at the house level which is made up of house master, house manager, rush chair, room assignment chair, house president and others students.  RSIT will go out and meet with these people and ask the question what went well and what could be improved. We will get data from these people in the field who are doing these things.  A member of the staff and a student will be the core interview group The RLA will be there at the interview to take note and throughout the year will help the students work through issues (the attached proposal was approved).


Ellen Essigmann felt that the information looks good and that it will force each house to come together


2.     Dean’s office had focus group last year on First Year Experience. During late October and early November there will be an opportunity for another focus group, with a more general survey beforehand.


At next RSIT meeting we can formulate questions. RSIT will have the chance to submit questions. What are outstanding issues that we need information on. A week before the next RSIT a subgroup (Grace, Liz, Rick and an FSILG rep TBA) will meet and draft up outstanding issues. It is best to wait until Rush concludes.




Denise, Tony and Rick present the information that was gathered from the Orientation and Adjustment lottery.  There was a very high response rate. See Handouts - Powerpoint Presentation Lottery Data and Components of Evaluation of 2002 changes packet


The information that will be presented is information that people are interested in.  Information was distributed related to the plan for public release and groups that would be asked if Tony, Rick, and Denise could come and present.


An executive summary was developed (See attached).




Executive Summary

Team Interview Groups