I. Overview

Introduction


The Residence System Implementation Team (RSIT), created in January 2001, was charged by Dean Robert Redwine (Undergraduate Education) and Dean Larry Benedict (Student Life) with the responsibility of implementing the recommendations from the report prepared by Chancellor Lawrence S. Bacow entitled, The Design of the New Residence System, (December 8, 1999).The RSIT membership consisted of a wide variety of stakeholders representing various interests and perspectives regarding implementation of the proposed changes for the residential system.These stakeholders included:student representatives from DormCon, IFC, Panhellenic, Independent Living Groups, Undergraduate Association (UA); and, representatives from departments and offices at MIT including the Academic Resource Center (ARC), Admissions, Housing, Residential Life Programs (RLP), Fraternity, Sororities and Independent Living Groups (FSILGs), Student Life Programs (SLP), andHousemasters.In addition, input and feedback was sought at various points throughout the process from the MIT community at large as well as specific segments of the community such as DormCon, FSILGs, and Housemasters.

The work of RSIT occurred in three key phases:development of a plan (January 2001 - Spring 2002), implementation of the plan (Spring 2002 - September 2002) and evaluation of the implementation process and the outcomes (August 2002 - December 2002).This report contains a summary of the implementation of the residential changes for the 2002-03 academic year and the evaluative information collected as of December 2002.

The report has been divided into five sections:
Overview
Review of the Implementation Process 2002
Summary of the Evaluation Data
Review of Outcomes and Goals
Concluding Comments and Remaining Issues

The RSIT Charge


The Bacow report and subsequent discussions identified six main principles essential to the new residence system.These principles as outlined by Chancellor Bacow at the RSIT Meeting of June 6, 2001, included:
•preserve choice of residence (for first year students as well as upperclass students)
•enhance choice (to include the option, for first year students, of knowing where they will live prior to their arrival on campus)
•provide flexibility so that the option for change/modification in the system over time exists
•provide a welcoming environment for first year student arrival and remove social rejection as an element of the residential process
•provide living environments that capitalize on the richness of diversity at MIT
•create a housing system that permits liquidity so that students can move

As an outgrowth of these principles, the Bacow report (page iii) specified a number of dimensions that MIT needed to implement and optimize in creating the foundation of the new residence system.The dimensions, listed below, were the core operational elements of the RSIT charge and the specific goals of the implementation process.These core operational elements included:
•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 his or her 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

Additionally, the principle of liquidity (i.e. providing the opportunity for students to move within the housing system without stigma) was added subsequently by Chancellor Bacow as another key dimension.Furthermore, it was reaffirmed that the FSILG community was a critical part of the overall residential system and community at MIT.Thus, the changes in the system requiring all first year students to reside on-campus in the residential houses at MIT, necessitated adjustments not only to the on campus residence system but also in the FSILG community.Therefore, the goals and processes for the FSILGs became an integral part of the RSIT implementation program.Information regarding the FSILG community process has been integrated throughout this report.

II.Review of the Implementation Process 2002

Communication Plan


Once the official admissions process for the Class of 2006 was completed and the freshman class was transferred to the Academic Resource Center (ARC), all communication with these new students was through the ARC.The ARC provides the overall structure for communicating with new students and their parents during the key summer transition period.Additionally, a critical piece of the summer housing communication was coordinated by the ARC with the Offices of Residential Life Programs (RLP) and Housing.This section of the report describes the overall communication process implemented by ARC as well as the specific processes implemented by Housing and Residential Life Programs in conjunction with residential student leaders.

Overview - Freshman Mailing(s)
The timing of information sent to freshmen was critical.A limited window exists from the time the class was passed from Admissions to the Academic Resource Center.This limited window exists every year for the freshman response to the critical deadlines.On May 2, 2002 the freshman mailing was sent to the Class of 2006.Students who accepted admissions later or were wait-listed, received the mailing at a later date.The timing of the freshman mailing is planned to give all students, regardless of geographical location, at least one month to process the material, access supplemental information and make their decisions.

The freshman mailing folder included:
1. Orientation booklet with information on
    - arrival information and shuttle registration
    - academic information
    - advising options; including RBA application
    - Mission 2006
    - learning communities
-FPOP


-descriptions of 10 Pre-Orientation programs
-common application

-Miscellaneous Information
-Class picture book information
-Class photo information
-Permanent ID
-Vendor Information

2. FSILG Brochure
3. Freshman HASS-D - Guide and cover letter
4. Math Diagnostic
5. The Guide to First-Year Residences with CD ROM
6. Letter from Bob Redwine regarding computing
7. Parent's envelope
    - information on Collegiate Welcome gifts
    - campus dining
    - MIT bumper sticker
    - invitation to President Vest's Brunch
    - religious life at MIT
    - MIT Facts 2002
    - Pre-registration for Parent's orientation
    - MIT Parent's Magazine
    - telephone services information

For the Class of 2006, June 21 was determined to be the critical deadline for response.
The June 21 deadline was set by Housing and mirrored by the ARC to minimize any confusion and make the decision for all decisions coincide. The June 21 deadline applied to the following:
Pre-Orientation program application
Housing Lottery
Math Diagnostic
Mission 2006
RBA Application
Permanent Photo ID

The Associate Dean of Academic Resources and Programming of the ARC is the gatekeeper for access to the freshmen.The Institute established restrictions on mailing to freshmen six years ago. The following mailings were sent to the entire Class of 2006:
-ARC freshman mailing (May 2, rolling)
-Learning Communities (June 11)
-FSILG Booklet (July 8)
-ASA (week of July 29)

The FSILG Book was held until after the June 21 Housing deadline.The ASA mailing is always held until after all deadlines.The second and final summer deadline was July 26 for HASS-D Lottery and advising choice.

Only academic departments are allowed to mail to freshmen.Other than the Learning Communities, only one academic department sent a mailing to the Class of 2006.

Website


The Class of 2006 site, located at http://web.mit.edu/firstyear/2006 was developed to help freshman in their first year at MIT and was updated regularly to focus on current issues and to provide student information and detailed academic information at key points throughout the academic year.The site was actually updated at ten key points during the year, to provide relevant information at critical points (i.e. May 1, August 1 and October 1).

The Class of 2006 site was organized into the following categories, which were constantly evolving and looking ahead to alert students of upcoming events and/or academic turning points for the freshman.

Countdown to Campus - This section included information on:summer deadlines and testing, pre-orientation programs, orientation, AP/IB/A-level and transfer credit, as well as, information on summer mailings and reporting address changes.

Calendar - the Countdown to Campus section became the Calendar section with the 8/1 site update and included important dates for the current semester.

Right Now - this section focused on current issues facing freshman at key points throughout the academic year. During the summer, this section contains information on:advising choices (link), pre-orientation programs (link),AP, IB, GCE, and transfer credit, alternative learning communities, first-year subjects and grading, resources and support.

Coming Up - mirroring the 'Right Now' section, but looking ahead rather than
focusing on current issues - this section went live on 8/1 and changes throughout
academic year to focus on key upcoming events and/ or turning points for
freshmen. During the summer, this section contains information on: orientation
(http://web.mit.edu/orientation/),using the on-line advising folder, advanced standing exams, the math diagnostic, meeting with your advisor, fall registration and Independent Activities Period (IAP).

Advising and Exploration -


Advising -
information including roles and responsibilities, meeting/keeping in touch with your advisor, getting to know faculty, using the on-line freshman advising folder, and residence-based advising.

Explore - descriptions of some of the exciting opportunities that are available to freshmen at MIT.

Academic Index - an index of important academic information, policies and resources.



The following sections are technically part of the Class of 2006 site, but due to the nature of page content and for ease of URL reporting have been placed at the first-year directory level.
Freshman Advising Seminars (FAS):
http://web.mit.edu/firstyear/fas/.
Mission 2006:
http://web.mit.edu/firstyear/mission2006/.
Residence-Based Advising (RBA):
http://web.mit.edu/firstyear/rba/.

Based on available web-hit count data between May 1 and mid October 2002, the first year site was accessed almost 123,000 times.

Residential Life and Housing - Communication Plan


A specific aspect of the overall communication plan was the development of various ways to share information with incoming students and their families about the housing assignment process and options for students at MIT.To that end, a sub-committee of the RSIT Committee on Housing and Orientation, called the "Look-and-Feel" committee was organized to re-design the Guide to First Year Residences as well as update all of the communication and information regarding on-campus housing for incoming freshmen.

This committee also helped the FSILGs to plan and organize a single guide to all of their buildings and communities, replacing the many individual booklets that had been sent out to incoming freshmen in previous years.

Denise Vallay and Rick Gresh worked with Maryann Czerepak from the Publishing Services Bureau to help with the Guide. Wing Ngan, of Ink Design, and photographer Betsy Cullen were hired to design the book, and update the photos.Approximately $29,500 was spent on design, photography and printing of this year's books.The result was a 48 page color guide that described the on-campus housing process, and also tried to showcase the different cultures, personalities and living options in the 11 residence halls and 5 cultural houses.Denise Vallay, Tony Gray, and Rick Gresh wrote the text describing the housing process and basic residence hall information.The Housemasters wrote a welcome letter introducing their residence hall.Student coordinators wrote the page for their residence hall that helped convey the feeling and culture of their building.

DormCon president, Matt Cain, Vikash Gilja, and Denise Vallay met with the individual dorm coordinators in December 2001 and January2002 to explain timelines, procedures, and cover expectations of content and design from the students.

Vikash Gilja was the leader of the student group that put together the I3 CD funded by Microsoft through the i-campus project.In the future the project will need to be funded by MIT.Each residence hall was allotted 6 minutes of video space on the CD.There was also an introduction to help explain the housing process and the various lotteries in which the freshmen would take part.

The Residence Halls were asked to update their dorm websites to provide additional information on the specifics of their hall.This update did not occur in all cases.

The Guide and the CD were mailed together in the packet the ARC sent to all of the incoming freshmen on May 2, 2002.

FSILG - Communication Plan


The key elements of the FSILG communication plan included the following:
•FSILG Brochure
•FSILG Booklet
•FSILG CD
•Chapter Rush Booklets
•Rush Website
•Parents Guide to FSILGs

In the first mailing coordinated by the ARC (May 2, 2002), incoming freshmen received an FSILG Brochure that gave an outline of the FSILG community at MIT.No comprehensive overview brochure had ever been mailed to incoming freshmen and was part of a new project to increase participation and interest in fraternities, sororities, and living groups at MIT.

Incoming freshmen also received the new FSILG Booklet and CD in the July 8th mailing.The new booklet was a compilation of material prepared by the 37 FSILGs.Each FSILG received two pages in which they could inform prospective members about their organization.In addition, the booklet also came with a CD containing an introduction from the Recruitment Chair as well as brief videos from individual chapters.

Several chapters also printed individual rush booklets which were available for freshmen when they arrived on campus.Previously, incoming freshmen received only individual booklets; however, freshmen now received the new brochure and booklet, as well as the CD and individual rush booklets from those chapters that printed them.

During the fall, a new Rush2002 website was launched for incoming freshmen to log onto and gather information from each chapter.The website also displayed information regarding Rush events and answered questions relating to the recruitment process.

The Fraternity, Sorority, and Living Group Office also printed a Parents Brochure that was handed to parents and family members during Parents Weekend.The Parents Brochure answered questions relating to their son's/daughter's involvement in a fraternity, sorority or living group and also answered questions relating to living in an FSILG house.

Summer Assignment Process
The summer assignment process began on June 7th with the launch of a web site through which incoming freshmen could enter their housing preferences. Students were asked to assign each dormitory and cultural house a ranking from 1 to 16 expressing the level of their interest in living there. In a departure from years past, these rankings reflected an educated and thoughtful decision, and it was understood that students were possibly, perhaps quite possibly, choosing their final first year house assignment at MIT.The data indicates that 868 freshmen entered preferences on-line, 99 faxed or mailed preferences in, and 13 indicated no preferences at all.

Between June 21st and June 28th the Cultural and Residence Based Advising (RBA) houses contacted those students who had indicated in their preferences a strong desire to live there. This mutual selection process was designed in cooperation with the leaders of the Cultural Houses in an effort to promote the success of their communities and the unique living experiences they offer. Interestingly, however, Cultural House recruitment was, with the exception of Chocolate City, largely unsuccessful; many spaces remained empty when the freshmen arrived on campus in August. The Cultural House student governments hoped to use the period of Residence Exploration during Orientation to attract residents. In the end, this strategy had limited success as well; many of the Cultural Houses were under-subscribed or have had many of their new residents request to move.

The Housing Office ran the Summer Assignments lottery over the July 4th weekend. Not counting assignments to the Cultural and RBA houses, all but five students were assigned one of their top three choices (the remaining five were assigned their fourth choice).

As in the past, the Housing Office assigned freshmen to buildings, not rooms. The latter task was left to the various dormitory-specific student Room Assignment Chairs (RAC) who, considering roommate requests and surveys filled out by the freshmen at the time they entered their preferences, assigned their freshmen to specific rooms.

Finally, the results of the Summer Assignment process were communicated on July 22nd to the incoming freshmen by means of the same web site they used to submit their preferences (and also, if necessary, by email or telephone).

Several points in this process bear emphasizing. First, note the number of meaningful opportunities for freshmen to participate actively in selecting their housing. Better, more detailed, and more accurate information and communication with the incoming freshman class encouraged more meaningful freshman participation in the selection process, at least at this stage.

Second, the special attention accorded to the Cultural and RBA Houses encourages the development and growth of their diverse and unique communities. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, the Cultural House community has atrophied rather than grown. Several factors contributed to this: the style and content of their initial communications with students, the number of parents with questions and concerns, and general misconceptions about their communities.

Third, individual student governments (through their RACs) assign freshmen to rooms respecting local expertise in preserving and fostering the various communities within each dormitory.

Finally, it is important to remember that a student's summer assignment may or may not be his or her final fall assignment. Once on campus in August, all freshmen were given the opportunity to remain in their summer assigned dorm (the so-called right to 'squat' their dorm), or enter the Orientation Adjustment Lottery, in which students could request a change of assignment. As it happened, 82% of (eligible) new students opted to squat their summer assigned dorm.This system was designed, in the words of the Bacow Report,"to strike 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".

Pre-Arrival & Arrival at MIT


Orientation arrival logistics were managed through the ARC.The information was maintained by use of a master list of incoming students created with information received from students after they replied to the orientation mailing.(See above communication section for information on mailings to students.)The master list contained student arrival times, flight numbers, and date of arrival.  House managers and housemasters were provided this logistical information to facilitate their planning and preparation for peak arrival periods.Early arriving groups included athletes (by team), pre-programs, and international students.All other students arrived August 23rd or 24th.Orientation began August 25th.

Parents Orientation was August 23rd and 24th.With parents and remaining students arriving during this defined period, 110 Orientation leaders were deployed to all undergraduate residences for those two days to welcome, and assist with the arrival and move-in process.

As students and families arrived, they were greeted by orientation leaders who were distributed to specific residences.  Orientation leaders wore matching, and easily visible navy blue orientation shirts.Orientation leaders gave parents maps with directions to free parking areas as well as the times and frequency of pick-ups for free shuttle service. Shuttles were hired to drive around campus assisting parents and students by stopping at each residence and the Technology Square Garage.Campus Police maintained parent and student traffic flow on Amherst St. with officers stationed throughout the two days.

Orientation


Students:

The goal of MIT's orientation program is to assist new students in their transition to MIT by providing programs and services that outline the Institute's academic requirements as well as provide social/developmental opportunities.Additionally, a key component is to welcome students to the MIT community, introducing them to each other, upperclass students, staff, and faculty.The schedule for orientation facilitated implementation of the new residence system.The orientation schedule can be viewed as
Appendix A.

Parents:
It was very important to have orientation information that catered to parents' inquiries and needs, thus helping to relieve the stress of a major transition.After move-in, parents were invited to a hospitality room in the student center staffed for the ARC by the Alumni Office.This outreach provided an opportunity to support a relaxed way of getting to know many of the services offered to MIT parents.Parents Orientation included the President's Brunch, panel discussions covering health and safety, academics, and student life.As an introduction to the surrounding MIT area, a museum trip was offered for all parents.

A copy of the Parents' Orientation schedule can be viewed in
Appendix B.
An assessment of orientation has been conducted separately with all Institute stakeholders.

Residence Exploration


Dormitory Council and IFC collaborated on a model for residence exploration.Included in this plan were a Residence Midway, an afternoon and evening of individual dorm programming, and an IFC night in the Student Center on Tuesday evening.

The housemasters were each invited to host a brunch on the Sunday of the students' arrival, to welcome the students to MIT, discuss safety and security issues, and review the orientation/residence exploration schedule.

The Residence Midway was held Sunday night after PlayFair in the Student Center and surrounding areas, and all 11 residences participated.Each residence was given a room or area to host an event.Examples included karaoke, spin art, open mic, and jousting.

The Monday night and Tuesday afternoon events were open to all freshmen and were intended to show the unique culture of each dorm. Events included dinner, house tours, games, carnivals, and desserts.

The FSILG community sponsored a Welcome BBQ as well as an After-Party during Orientation.The After-Party occurred after the welcoming dinner in Johnson Athletic Center and was hugely successful.All IFC groups participated in this event, which was held in the Student Center.

In addition, other events and programs designed to inform students about fraternities, sororities, and living groups occurred during the orientation program.Such events included:a Transfer Mixer, an FSILG Booth in the Student Center, and a Parents Reception.In addition, the Assistant Dean served on a DSL Panel during orientation designed to answer questions for parents of incoming students.

Adjustment Lottery Process


As noted earlier, a student's summer assignment may or may not be his or her final fall assignment. During Residence Exploration, all freshmen were given the opportunity to squat their summer assigned dorm, or enter the Orientation Adjustment Lottery and request a change of assignment. Students could rank up to three alternative dorms in the Adjustment Lottery. Those who secured a reassignment were obliged to take it, and those who did not were permitted to remain in their original summer assignment (the so-called 'Back Stop Clause'). The Cultural Houses engaged in a second round of recruitment and mutual selection.Students involved in the RBA program -- those living in McCormick and Next House -- were ineligible for the Adjustment lottery.

Given the nature of the Adjustment Lottery with students already occupying spaces, a reassignment was not guaranteed to those who entered it. In the end, approximately 18% of eligible freshmen requested a move. Of those, 61% were reassigned by the lottery, and many of the remainder have received reassignments since the Adjustment Lottery (see Fall Term 2002 Housing section below).

Fall Term 2002

Housing


One key source of feedback regarding implementation of the goals described in the Bacow Report includes a profile of the requested housing moves for the Fall Term 2002.According to the data provided by Denise Vallay (Assistant Director - Undergraduate, Summer & Guest Housing), the following occurred:
•44 first year students requested to move building assignments between 8/30 - 12/20/02
•26 have been successfully reassigned
•1 decided to forward her request to the Fall 2003 semester
•9 cancelled their request to move
•3 offers are currently pending
•5 are not yet reassigned (as of 11/02)-- 3 requesting Baker, 1 requesting Random, and 1 requesting French House - Note: As of 12/02 all except one have been accommodated and this person has deferred her request to Spring 2003.

FSILGs & Rush Summary


Fraternities, sororities, and living groups extended their efforts to educate unaffiliated members after orientation and during the first few weeks of classes.

The FSILG community also sponsored Greek Week, after an absence of several years.Greek Week, although meant to increase participation and collaboration among fraternities, sororities, and living groups, was also a mechanism to invite unaffiliated members to participate in events sponsored by fraternities, sororities, and living groups.

Although the formal Rush period started on September 20, the IFC reserved a table in lobby 10 the two weeks before Rush started, to answer any rush related questions unaffiliated students may have.In addition, the IFC also reserved the projector in the Infinite Corridor and panels in lobby 7 to advertise Rush.

The formal Recruitment period occurred September 20 through October 4.Rush was moved to this date in September after the decision was made to move Rush from Orientation to early in the semester.While every fraternity participated in Rush, some fraternities and living groups were not as successful in recruiting new members as in previous years.The number of unaffiliated students joining a fraternity or living group was 286.Sorority recruitment will occur at the end of IAP in late January and early February.

Two important evaluations occurred after the formal rush period.A meeting was held with all Recruitment Chairs of the fraternities and living groups.At this meeting, the Recruitment Chairs discussed the positive benefits of the new rush system, as well as the negative affects of the new rush system.The complete evaluation is included in the Appendix C.

A team of Sloan School students developed a second evaluation.A team of students interviewed one fraternity and based upon this interview they developed a more comprehensive survey that was distributed to all the fraternities and living groups (Appendix D).The Sloan School students outlined their findings, as well as their recommendations in a report that can be found in Appendix E.

III. Summary of the Evaluation Data

Summer and Orientation Adjustment Lottery Results - 2002


The information provided below is a summary of some of the key data obtained through the Summer Lottery (held in late June) and the Orientation Adjustment Lottery (held on the Tuesday of Orientation week).The data has two primary sources:the decisions students made in the lotteries and their responses to feedback questions that were asked during the lotteries.Please note that all information below is related to building assignments.None of the data below reflects movement or information related to in-house room changes.

Summer Lottery Results


In the summer lottery, 967 freshmen entered preferences (only 13 students did not enter preferences and were, therefore, randomly assigned).The lottery results are as follows:
•Men:63% received their first choice, 20% their second, 17% their third, less than 1% their fourth.
•Women:78% received their first choice, 18% their second, 4% their third.

Based on the summer preferences, the individual dorms fall into three general "clusters" of popularity, providing a big picture view of the kinds of communities and facilities incoming freshmen find attractive and in what proportion. Preferences fell into the following three clusters, ordered by the overall number of ranked requests they received, from most to least: <Simmons, Burton-Conner, MacGregor, and Baker>;<Next House, East Campus, and New House>; < Random, Bexley, and Senior House>. McCormick, all female and RBA, was a special case and fits best at the end of the first cluster.

These clusters were similar in the post-"rush" 2001 lottery, but with these exceptions: Simmons did not exist; Next House was in the first cluster; Burton-Conner was in the second cluster; and East Campus was in the third cluster.

Orientation Adjustment Lottery (OAL) Results


According to the data from Housing, 751 students were eligible to enter the OAL (Next and McCormick students are ineligible for the OAL because of RBA, except for 10 non-RBA students in Next House). Students had the opportunity to rank up to three alternative dorms. Of these 751 students:
•61% entered the lottery to keep their summer assignment (actively squatted)
•21% did not enter the lottery (passively squatted)
•6% preferenced one building above their summer assignment
•4% preferenced two buildings above their summer assignment
•8% preferenced three buildings above their summer assignment

A total of 140 students requested an alternate assignment (the remainder squatted).Of the 140 who requested a move, 85(61%) received a new assignment (restrictions on the lottery process mean that not all students are guaranteed to move). 74% of reassigned students received their first choice, 19% their second, and 7% their third. Of the 57 students who entered the lottery and preferenced three dorms above their summer assignment (arguably the most 'discontent'), 75% were reassigned. At the end of the OAL, 14 students who requested a move and preferenced 3 dorms in the lottery could not be reassigned. Since early September, only one of these 14 students is awaiting reassignment, and she has forwarded her request for reassignment to the Spring.

While individual student preferences may have changed, building popularity in the OAL mirrored building popularity in the Summer Lottery (with one very minor change).


Figure 1 shows the "percentage of eligible" students from each dorm who requested a change in the OAL (magenta line), how many were reassigned (burgundy bar), how many couldn't be reassigned (blue bar), and how many students arrived (yellow bar).


Note that fewer departing students than arriving students indicates vacancies at the start of the OAL, and fewer arriving students than departing students indicates vacancies at the end of the OAL. Housing is succeeding in filling most of these vacancies from the respective waiting lists.

Feedback Survey Data


In both the summer and orientation adjustment lotteries, students were asked to respond to a series of questions related either to their satisfaction with aspects of the selection process or to factors in their decision making process.Participation was very high.In the summer lottery, of 22 questions asked, 16 had at least 800 respondents (there were 983 first-year students).In the OAL, of 22 questions asked, 19 had at least 500 (out of 751 students who were eligible to enter the lottery).

Satisfaction with MIT's Residence Selection Process


Overall, students were somewhat satisfied (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) with the selection process (inclusive of both lotteries).Squatters in the OAL reported higher satisfaction than non-squatters (3.1 and 2.6, respectively).Squatters were significantly more satisfied with feeling welcomed than non-squatters (3.3 and 2.8, respectively).Students requesting to move from Bexley and Senior House were significantly less satisfied with feeling welcomed than those in other Dorms.

Factors in Preferencing Buildings


To help us to understand what factors are important in student decision making, the following question was asked during both lotteries:
  "Please rate the importance of each of these factors in making your lottery decisions."Twelve possible factors were listed.

In the Summer Lottery, "Social Atmosphere," "Building Facilities and Services," and "Location" were the most important factors."Opportunities to Participate in Cultural Houses/RBA," "Cost," and "Availability of Room Squatting" were the most unimportant.The OAL results are similar to the summer lottery, except that "Friends Made" and "Experience Visiting" become important factors, as well.

There was little difference between the results of squatters and non-squatters in the OAL, except that non-squatters rated "Health/Allergy Considerations," "Building Facilities and Services," and "Experience Visiting" as significantly more important than squatters did.These factors may be a starting point for examining why students chose to move instead of staying in their building.

Usefulness of Information in Making a Decision


Students were asked to rate the importance/usefulness of sources of information in making their lottery preference decisions.Only the "Guide to First-Year Residents" rated as a very important source of information in either lottery.In the summer lottery, "Discussion with Current/Former Students," "the I3 CD," and "CPW" rated as somewhat important, in that order.

During the OAL, only two of the four factors listed rated as somewhat important and, in both cases, the rating was below those received by the sources of information in the summer lottery paragraph above.Those two factors were "Other Orientation Activities/Experiences" and "Individual Residence Hall Events (Monday night and Tuesday afternoon)."Note:these two factors received equal ratings.

All other factors listed in both lotteries rated at varying levels of relative unimportance.

Survey of First Year Students


A survey was administered to all first year students in November 2002.The following section summarizes the key points of information obtained from the survey.See Appendix F
for the complete survey and Appendix G for the comprehensive summary of the data.

PART I:"DEMOGRAPHICS"
As the participation in the survey mirrored the overall class of 2006 and 636 students participated with a 90% or better reply rate on most questions, there is confidence that the results of this survey reflect the overall class.

PART II:"DORM-RELATED QUESTIONS"
•Do students feel their current dorm is a "good fit"?
Overall, students felt their dorm was a good fit to them to a "considerable extent" (the second highest on a 5 point scale).Results also show that the class of 2006 was equally satisfied with fit as upperclass students surveyed in April 2002.Active squatters demonstrated the highest satisfaction with "fit."

•Did students have adequate information to make Housing decisions?
Neutral to Somewhat Agree that they did prior to Residence Orientation, though this average does not increase significantly after RO.

•Did students take summer lottery Housing decisions seriously?
Overall, the answer is clearly yes.

•Parental Impact on Housing decisions
Almost half state their parents had no impact, and, of the other half, the impact was generally viewed as helpful.

•Residence Orientation:Visiting Dorms with the Intent to Consider Moving
59% of our first-year students visited other Dorms with the intent to consider a move.Of those visiting more than 3 Dorms, 75% ultimately squatted.

•Residence Orientation:Did the activities realistically reflect living there?
The campus average was between somewhat disagree that they did to neutral; FSILG events did significantly better.

•OAL:Factors relating to why students did or did not request to move
Satisfaction with fit/social/cultural issues played the greatest role in why students did not move (2.5 times greater than facility issues).While, for those that requested a move, facility-related were equal to fit/social/cultural issues (43% to each).Only 5% of squatters' reasons were related to being settled or moving as a hassle, and only 2% were attributed to not having enough time.

•Why First-Year Students did not enter the OAL
Students did not enter because they did not want to move or due to RBA; only 9 of 636 responders were not aware of the OAL or missed the deadline.

•Dorm Room Assignments:the Option to Squat
Students were generally neutral to "somewhat disagree" on feeling the "option to squat their room" would have helped them better acclimate to MIT.Note:less than 20% felt strongly about the question.

•Impact of Orientation Movement on Community and Support
Overall, students who did not move at all and students that moved rooms/buildings felt similarly supported and/or connected to their dorm community.However, students whose room movement was opposite to their desire (either wanting to move or not but experiencing the opposite), were significantly less likely to highly value being a part of their dorm's community.

•Impact of Orientation Movement on Preparation to Start Classes
Overall students did not feel and/or perceive that movement had a significant effect on their ability to be prepared for classes, though they did seem to report that moving buildings has more of an impact than moving rooms.

PART III:"FSILG-RELATED QUESTIONS"
•Influence of CPW on Interest in FSILGs
Those overnighting in an FSILG were significantly more likely to attend FSILG events with an interest in joining and were significantly more likely to have actually joined.Those overnighting in a Dorm with an FSILG host had nearly identical results to those overnighting without an FSILG host.It is worth noting, however, that almost 40% of those overnighting in an FSILG have NOT attended events with an interest in joining.

•Sources of Information about FSILGs:How useful were they?
"Talking with students" was the only source of information rated as "very useful."All others were between "somewhat useless" and "somewhat useful."

•FSILG Activities:Do they provide a realistic idea of membership?
Students were between neutral and somewhat agreeing that they did.

•First-Year student impressions of FSILGs
Overall, students had a neutral to somewhat favorable impression of FSILGs.

•Factors influencing interest in an FSILG:Overall
Students reported joining FSILGs for reasons related to the community and/or organization, while those that are firmly against joining sited issues related more to time and/or FSILG facilities.60% of students, regardless of their interest in joining, reported discussing FSILGs with their parents.

•Factors influencing interest in FSILGs:Upperclass Students in Dorms
Overall, students did not perceive Dorm residents as discouraging them from participating in FSILG recruitment.

•How much time are FILG members spending on FILG activities?
2/3 of those eligible to answer this question did not.Of those that did, there was a fairly even distribution from 0 hours to more than 15 hours a week.

•The Timing of Fall FILG Recruitment
Students are significantly more likely to be interested in membership if FILG recruitment were held during the first two weeks of classes.

PART IV:CAMPUS-WIDE or RESIDENCE SYSTEM-WIDE QUESTIONS
•Where students will live next academic year
55% reported living in their same Dorm, 24% in an FSILG, with the remainder living in other Dorms or unable to make a prediction.Note:only about 80% of those joining FSILGs felt they were able to predict they would actually live there next year.

•Impact of various activities on academic performance:5th Week Flags
Flag distribution did not vary significantly across categories of Dorm/room movement during Orientation and across FSILG members and non-members, indicating that neither of these creates a greater likelihood of receiving a flag.

CIRP Survey - Supplemental Questions


On the final day of Orientation, first-year students were asked to complete the CIRP survey, including several MIT-specific questions.Only a few of the questions related directly to RSIT's work, so results are presented by question.

Note:483 students participated and the percentage of those answering each question is provided.

•How useful was the Guide to First-Year Residences in providing adequate information to make decisions about housing options?
Response Rate:60%
On a scale of 1-4 (1 being not useful at all and 4 being very useful), the response rate the book at 2.98.In addition, 3% of respondents noted that they did not read or receive the publication.

•How useful was the Interactive CD in providing adequate information to make decisions about housing options?
Response Rate:61%
On a scale of 1-4 (1 being not useful at all and 4 being very useful), the response rate placed the CD at 2.51. In addition, 10 % of respondents noted that they did not read or receive the publication.

•How useful were the residence activities (Residence Midway, Monday evening activities, and the Tuesday afternoon activities) in helping you to meet other students?
Response Rate:58%
On a scale of 1-4 (1 being not at all and 4 being very useful, the response rate placed the activities at 2.46.

•How useful were the residence activities (Residence Midway, Monday evening activities, and the Tuesday afternoon activities) in helping to make an informed residence selection?
Response Rate:57%
On a scale of 1-5 (1 being not at all and 5 being very useful, the response rate placed the activities at 2.01.

House Team Interview Summary


In October and November, members of RSIT conducted interviews/discussions with each house team, as well as the Cultural Houses collectively.  The purpose was to gather information about how things went and to help houses talk through what they did as a way of aiding them in evaluating their processes.

In general, the information gathered is house-specific and more logistical.  It is likely that houses could learn from one another's strategies or approaches.  What follows is a summary of points that have a more systemic impact and may assist in the review and evaluation of RSIT's final report.  The interviews were conducted based on various parts of the residence selection process; summaries are provided based upon those individual parts.

One final note of caution: the interviews varied depending on who was there and the issues specific to that residence.Thus, for almost all points, there was not similar feedback from every residence such that an overarching statement could be made conclusively.This summary makes an effort to give an overall sense of the information gathered throughout the various interviews.


Residence Community

It might be helpful to start with the concluding thoughts.At the end of many of the interviews, house teams were asked how things have been going since the end of Orientation.

Overall, houses reported that there were less roommate issues than in the past; some houses reported having none which is very atypical (though some of this seemed due to the lack of crowding).Several houses felt that their community seemed stronger than before and/or that the first-year students seemed excited to be in their buildings.Four residence halls directly stated they were happy with their first-year students; Bexley reported being three times happier with this year's first-year students than last year's.Senior House mentioned that because people put more thought into their "temp dorm," they were able to come to campus living in a place that they had interest in, thereby giving them a better chance to really evaluate it upon arrival.

However, while there was reporting of satisfaction with the first-year students, there were doubts raised by some upperclass students questioning whether first year students had enough time to look around during Orientation to make an informed choice.

McCormick had strong feedback about RBA - stating that residents in the RBA classes generally know all the residents in their class.

Overall it also seemed that as a new process,things went relatively smoothly.Certainly there was a lot of information related to how things could be improved, but that we had a good foundation for the future.Generally, it seemed that houses developed their own strategies, raising the issue of the benefit of sharing information in the future.

There was also a lot of conflicting information, sometimes by members of the same house team and/or from the same person at different points of the interview, which, given the newness of this year's processes, was not unexpected.

Residence Publication and Information
Prior to summer lottery preference selection, the primary opportunities for students to inform their preferences were attending CPW, viewing websites and the I3 CD, and reading the Guide to First-Year Residences.  Through these various methods, first-year students generally had the opportunity to contact residents for more information.

Overall houses felt the communications this year were a good start to a new process and were pleased with the opportunities for summer communication, particularly with opportunities to review drafts and participate in the process.  Particularly the combination of the book and the CD enabled most houses to communicate the "flavor" of their residences.  Bexley, for example, felt it was a good litmus test (if you don't laugh at what we did, you won't want to be here) and that the summer communication enabled them to get their message out better than anti-rush policies of previous years.  There was some disagreement; however, as some houses felt the book focused too much on the amenities and not enough on the culture of the buildings, though one group did point out that the images did not give students too much of an opportunity to really evaluate the condition of the facility.

The Guide to First-Year Residences was generally viewed as well-done and effective.  Concerns about the effectiveness of the book seemed to focus more on the system overview information in the book than on the individual house pages.  In particular the book lacked a mechanism for ensuring parents reviewed key information about the process; there was not a clear understanding about the potential for moves when students arrived on campus.  One house had disagreement among themselves about how effective the book was; the same house also admitted that they did not update their information as well as they could have.

Issues were raised related to technical problems with the CD and the need for more time to organize information and video.  Houses should be encouraged to view it as more than just a two month project and to start earlier.

Individual house websites were not focused upon as a key element by houses.  Some houses did work on their pages, but no house had a clear idea of if it was useful/helpful or not and/or if students accessed it.

Only one house commented on the involvement of Housemasters in the process - the students felt it served as a little bit of a "sanity check" on what they were organizing, though the Housemasters felt they could have had better information about the process so as to be better involved/supportive.

Summer Assignments
Almost all feedback received was related to the room assignment process.Opinion and feedback varied widely; however, there were a lot of questions about the value of taking a significant amount of time to make room assignments when room squatting is not an option.

The room assignment information survey was generally viewed as ineffective and/or useless.A few questions (pets, smoking) were found to be useful, but most halls ignored the rest of the information to varying degrees.Some houses stated that they did not use the survey because they wanted people to look around; one stated they did not accommodate specific placement requests for that reason.One building seemed to go the opposite direction by stating that a good roommate match might help them to keep students.In addition, the data from the summer room assignment survey was received in a very cumbersome and difficult to use format.McCormick, which does permanent room assignments, felt they did not have adequate time to do the assignments and wanted to do their own survey as they are more invested in the outcome and need specific information tailored to McCormick.

Cultural Houses felt that one week to contact students before the summer lottery was run was not adequate time as it was difficult to connect with students.Also, they had some ideas on how to improve the process for them; hopefully those conversations are ongoing.

Most houses felt there was a need for more consistent messages/communication to the first-year students after room assignments are completed.There is so much information coming from various places that first-year students often seemed to get confused.One house thought that updating its website with more information tailored to questions students will have after the summer lottery is complete would have been helpful.

Next House mentioned the 2006 Yahoo! group that got created informally and thought it would be valuable to do that formally, so that everyone is on it and some consistent messages could get sent and/or questions could be identified and answered (particularly, in their case, to help clear up confusion related to RBA).

Initial Move-In
Overall the feedback received was that the process went fairly smoothly, particularly given that MIT was experiencing all of this for the first time.With the exception of one building, any reference to the work of the Orientation Leaders indicated they were helpful and that concerns about their role were mostly alleviated by the fact that they ended up being pretty "cool guys."There also seemed to be a fairly good flow of traffic and information related to parking (one house complimented the Police@MIT).

This is not to say there were not issues.Several houses reported summer boarders not leaving on time as an issue, particularly when students were coming in early for FPOPs.It also seemed like there was fluctuation related to when students would be expected to arrive - students seemed to come in unexpectedly.One house communicated issues with ID cards working, which caused security concerns and inconveniences.

Many students also brought a lot of stuff with them, which made move-in more difficult, particularly when parents were confused about the possible changes during Orientation week.Again, the concern came up about consistent messages.One house set up a centralized storage area so as to help facilitate the process of moves for later by not having students move everything into their rooms right away.

One thing that was evident was the varying levels of organization and the different approaches.There certainly would be value in sharing information between houses.Generally those houses that felt more organized (front desk, summer communication, room preparation from summer boarders, etc.) reported a smoother process.The Cultural Houses prepared "welcome baskets" to give to their first-year students which seemed to be popular.

"Welcome" Brunches
Overall, the brunches went well, or so most houses reported.  Three houses reported the brunches were problematic (one of these was Simmons which had venue issues).  One house didn't provide an evaluative opinion.  Attendance reports were not always provided, but it seemed that somewhere between 60% and 95% of frosh attended.

Brunches had varying agendas, and one issue was raised regarding how consistent the messages were across campus.  The "typical template" seemed to be two primary parts:  (1) Welcome and Meeting People (GRTs, Government, Housemaster, House Manager, and/or Desk Workers) and (2) Expectations/Information for the Week, including details of the Residence Orientation/Exploration and In-House rooming, if applicable.  While the template was fairly consistent, the information provided was not.  Generally there was some confusion about the exact purpose which gave rise to each house tailoring the time to their needs (welcome to Dorm, welcome to MIT, or introduction to residence orientation).  There is likely a balance between consistency and individual creativity.

There was some thought, at least by one house, that perhaps too much information was given and overwhelmed the frosh.  One possible solution is to have a standard FAQ sheet (Next House had one).

Parents were an issue in some houses, but generally not.  At least one house invited parents to participate, while others made it clear that this was a student-only event.  Houses also raised the issue about the cost of the parents' brunch being "unfair" and, at least Random Hall, suggested they would invite parents to their brunch next year.

An issue was mentioned regarding the timing of the OME brunch; which pulled minority students from their house events/community.

EC and Senior House used the time in a unique way, having an "exchange" of upperclass presenters to broaden the information provided and helping to prep for the residence orientation experience.

Next House had volleyball and other activities at the same time, which seemed to add some fun to the event.

Residence Orientation/Exploration
The first activity of Residence Orientation/Exploration was the Residence Midway.The Midway differed from past Midways in that there was more of a focus on doing activities than hanging-out/talking.Houses that had engaging and fun activities felt that they were able to keep the first-year students interested and thereby they stuck around.Other Houses felt the Midway was less effective and that the activities, while fun, did not help students understand what living in a place would be like.One house felt that the time could be better spent doing activities in the buildings.

Monday and Tuesday had time periods for activities and events in individual residence halls.Many houses felt there was not enough time for these activities.This caused some houses to plan activities during the day on Monday and Tuesday; the result of which was frustration at competing with Orientation activities.Overall, there seemed to be some confusion about when activities could and should be held.There were also some concerns about getting a "critical mass" to make events fun and successful; one house suggested that the activities be more coordinated so that only certain houses would be having activities at certain times to allow students to focus on particular buildings at particular times.In addition, there was some feeling by east campus dorms that west campus dorms were not doing their part to encourage students to explore.

A question was raised about what events are most effective.Should events reflect what it is like to live there or are parties and larger activities best?Senior House, for example, had more low key activities, like just hanging out, and these seemed to work well.Some houses reported that the first-year students got involved in their house activities - promoting their building to other students.In general, many house team members expressed the need for more time for residence exploration during Orientation.

Related to RBA dorms, McCormick was offended by the respect their program and choices were given by other Dorms.Next House didn't communicate that this was an issue for them and, instead, thought that because first-year students were squatting Next House, they were able to just go to other places and have fun without any stress or pressure.Several houses raised concerns about FILG members using dorm rush activities as recruitment activities; better expectations and policies need to be set.

In House Rush/Rooming
Overall it seemed that the in-house rush and related mid-week moves went fairly well.In-house rush functioned fairly similar to the way it had in the past, though there were issues with lack of communication such that first-year students did not all show up on time and/or know they needed to be at their houses for in-house rush.

In terms of moves, there was feedback that the moving van idea was a good one, but it was somewhat disorganized.In addition, while some houses reported a very organized system of move-in and move-out times, there were houses that raised issues with the timing of moves conflicting with advisor meetings.Again, many houses handled this whole process differently, and sharing information/strategies may be helpful.Some houses had problems with rooms being messy, but most seemed to feel that first-year students left their rooms in good condition for the next person.

FSILG Recruitment
While it wasn't formally an area we meant to inquire about, several houses raised issues and/or concerns with FILG recruitment.While concerns with policies and guidelines governing recruitment were raised, the primary concerns related to new member participation in the Dorm community.Residences noted that individuals are spending much of their time in FILGs and/or that many of their more social residents have pledged - raising issues for the future of Dorm community.The interviews were conducted not long after the FILG recruitment period ended; perhaps a check-in on issues and/or concerns would be helpful as a way of better identifying any issues.

FILG Recruitment Chairs De-briefing Session


Two important evaluations occurred after the FILG formal rush period.First, a meeting was held with all Recruitment Chairs of the fraternities and living groups.At this meeting, the Recruitment Chairs discussed the positive benefits of the new rush system, as well as the negative affects of the new rush system.Many Recruitment Chairs thought that the timing of Rush (formally set from 9/20 - 10/4) had a detrimental effect on the chapters.Although many Recruitment Chairs felt that the length of time was helpful for both chapter members and prospective members to learn more about each other than the previous Rush system, the fact that Rush started late in September made the Rush period "seem longer".No fraternities waited until September 20 to begin "Rushing" and informal recruitment events occurred before the start of Rush.An aspect of Rush many chapters liked was that they could hold more informal and "normal" chapter activities for prospective members throughout Rush.These informal activities seemed to be the most successful in getting to know prospective members and for prospective members to learn about the chapters.The complete evaluation is included in Appendix C.

FILG Recruitment Evaluation - Sloan Class Project


Second, a team of Sloan School students developed an additional evaluation.This team of students interviewed one fraternity and, based on that interview, compiled a more comprehensive survey that was distributed to all the fraternities and living groups.The Sloan School Team found that Rush "seemed to take a toll on the chapter(s)".Although Rush started in late September, all fraternities recruited prospective members as soon as classes started on September 4, and in most cases, during orientation.This practice of "Recruitment 365 Days a Year" has been the new approach adopted by the fraternities and supported by the Fraternity, Sorority, and Independent Living Group Office.One recommendation the Sloan School Team set forth was that of deferred recruitment.This particular recommendation outlined the idea that chapters would recruit throughout the fall semester and then extend bids in the spring.Their findings and recommendations are included in Appendices D and E.

IV. Review of Outcomes and Goals

The specific goals set forth for RSIT were outlined in Chancellor Bacow's Report (page iii) and were identified as the charge for the Committee (page 2 of this report).Thus, one measure of the effectiveness of the work of RSIT is the evaluative data gathered with respect to these seven core operational points.Each of these points is listed below with a few summary highlights.

•providing meaningful opportunities for freshmen to participate actively in the process of selecting their residence
The freshmen reported on the survey (administered: 11/02) that they took the summer housing lottery process seriously (the overall average was 3.53 on a 4 point scale).In addition, 59% of the freshmen reported visiting other dorms once on campus to explore housing options.The CIRP data indicates that the most useful tool in the decision-making process for first year students was the Guide to First Year Residences followed by the CD and lastly the residence activities.The survey administered to the students as part of the lottery processes indicated that the Guide to First Year Residences was a very important source of information.Further, in the summer lottery, discussion with current/former students, the CD, and Campus Preview Weekend were rated as somewhat important in that order.Overall, students were somewhat satisfied with the selection process.
•respecting the diversity of cultures that exist throughout the residence system with special attention to the status of the theme houses

The opportunity to represent the diverse cultures of the houses occurred in a variety of ways.The Guide to First Year Residences, the CD and the house websites contained information developed by the students residing in each location in consultation with the housemaster in many instances.Additionally, the programs planned for the residence midway and in the individual houses were designed by each house team to reflect life in each house.The issue of theme houses is one that requires further study since their recruitment programs were largely unsuccessful (with the exception of Chocolate City) and they are generally under-subscribed.
•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

The entire structure of the residential assignment process sought to address this principle.The summer lottery permitted first year students to express their preferences and almost all students received assignment to one of their top three choices.Additionally, the adjustment lottery provided another opportunity to change building locations, and 82% of (eligible) new students opted to "squat" their summer assigned building.Of the 18% who requested a move in the adjustment lottery, 61% were reassigned by the lottery.At the end of the Fall Term 2002 only one student who requested a change has not yet been reassigned and actually she has deferred her request to the Spring.A key element of finding this balance was the modification of the "squatting" principle from room squatting to building squatting.
•ensuring that no student experiences rejection as their initiation to life at MIT

The survey of the freshmen (11/02) indicated that they felt very welcomed by MIT upon their arrival (the overall average was 3.46 on a 4 point scale).Similarly, the students reported that they felt that they had a good network of support from other students (3.47 on a 4 point scale).
•respecting the existing house governance systems that match students to rooms, and in the process, help to create functioning communities

The Housing Office (as was done previously) assigned freshmen to the buildings and the Room Assignment Chair (RAC) assigned the student to the specific room.The RACs developed an extensive questionnaire for first year students to complete.The completed questionnaire was made available to the RAC who, based upon the guidelines in their house, made the assignment of the student to the specific room during the summer.Furthermore, since the squatting concept was modified to apply only to the building, the RACs assigned all first year students to their specific room following the adjustment lottery.The first year students were mixed in their feelings regarding the survey question:It would have helped me to better acclimate to MIT if I knew I had the option to keep my summer room assignment if I wanted to.The overall average was 2.28 on a 4 point scale with 31 students strongly agreeing and 93 strongly disagreeing.
•enhancing the ability of parents and students to communicate during their first few days at MIT

For those students indicating that their parents had some impact on their housing decision (about 53%), they report that their parental influence was somewhat helpful (2.9 on a 4 point scale).Ofcourse, this is only one dimension of the nature of the student and parent communication during the first few days at MIT.In addition, having parents' orientation coincide with the students' orientation during the first weekend enhanced the ability of students and parents to communicate during the critical first days on campus.
•providing liquidity within the housing system (i.e. providing the opportunity for students to move within the housing system without stigma)
The students have had the opportunity to move within the housing system.The Fall and Spring House Transfer Lotteries, newly implemented this year, also contribute to enhancing liquidity within MIT's housing system.Approximately 44 students have made a request to move between 8/30 - 12/20.It is difficult to compare this figure with prior years because the previous situation of crowding first year students skewed the requests to move.With the reduction of crowding, currently there are some spaces to accommodate students who wish to relocate.

V. Concluding Comments and Remaining Issues

The overall work of RSIT has involved many individuals during the course of several years.The listing of RSIT members for Fall 2002 is in Appendix H.These focused efforts have resulted in a residential assignment process that, from a variety of measures, indicates a high level of first year student satisfaction with the outcome.The issues that remain include those that are directed to the overall way we function at MIT (process oriented) as well as those that are focused on the specific task and outcomes.

With respect to the process, it is clear that a fundamental value of RSIT involved the cross-functional nature of the group and hence, the ability to communicate broadly.The involvement of students, faculty, housemasters, administrators and staff provided the opportunity for broad discussion and information sharing.Maintaining these communication links as well as the ability to share perspectives on the impact of changes in the process is crucial as the residence system continues to evolve.The coordination of this multi-faceted process has many stakeholders and their voices are critical to the success of any future process.Furthermore, another process component is the impact of evaluation and assessment on the overall system.Thus, as the process moves forward evaluation and assessment need to be incorporated to provide the essential feedback loop.

With respect to the specific tasks assigned to RSIT, the following areas need resolution for 2003-2004 and beyond:further discussion regarding the structure of the residence orientation program; the timeframe for the formal aspects of the FSILG recruitment process; the issue of room squatting; and, ways to support and develop some of the under-subscribed theme houses to increase student participation.

The general information shared in this report represents a broad overview and appropriately, a rather high level synopsis.However, it is anticipated that much of the information collected in the assessment process, especially the notes from the various debriefing sessions for each house, will be particularly valuable to the houses and to those with responsibility for implementing the overall housing system.We hope that those who have responsibility for specific aspects of the housing process will make use of the wealth of information to persist with the process of continuous improvement for each area.



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