UA/DormCon/IFC Student Residence Implementation Team (Impish)
Spring Term 2000 Progress Report
May 16, 2000
Contents Appendix B: Residence Selection Process (PDF)
List of Team Members
Who are we?
On December 8th, 1999, Chancellor Lawrence S. Bacow released his design for the new MIT Residence System, to be implemented concurrent with the arrival of the Class of 2005. This new system will be necessary in order to facilitate the decision from MIT President Charles M. Vest to house all first-year students on campus starting the fall of 2001, and also demonstrates MIT's new commitment to improving the residential life of the campus. The design can be read at
In January 2000, a group of students with different levels of involvement in the residence system, current and future, started meeting to discuss how the Chancellor's plan might best be implemented. Many of the people in this group were previously involved in writing the reports of the Residential System Steering Committee and the Strategic Advisory Committee, each of which had created a different model for the future residence system. Some had advised the Chancellor directly in his final design. In various ways, these people had helped to shape the Chancellor's design and therefore had an interest in seeing it carried out. This group is now officially a team jointly endorsed by the Undergraduate Association, Interfraternity Council, and Dormitory Council and is focused on implementation of the new residence system design. A list of students participating in the group can be found at the end of this document, and all information, including this report, can be found on the web at
http://implement.mit.edu [this site no longer exists]
What have we done?
This group first began meeting informally to talk about issues in implementation which were of concern to us. During the course of these meetings we compiled a lengthy list of all the subjects we might want to talk about regarding residential life. Eventually this group began to meet regularly to discuss issues in greater depth. We started taking specific items from our list and brainstorming ideas on specific implementation programs. Some of the issues which we have discussed include orientation, residence selection, FSILG rush, information sent to freshmen over the summer, and residential advising.
So far we have also made substantial accomplishments outside these meetings. We have begun a project to create an interactive digital information source for freshmen about the residence system, a project which is being funded through the Microsoft I-Campus program. We have attached into this year's Residence Guide booklet a survey and a card which allows incoming freshmen to enter preferences for their temporary housing assignment, to help us determine the usefulness of the information they currently receive on the housing system.
We have also held several open community forums to discuss topics on which we needed feedback. These were extremely helpful to us in finding new ideas, as we were able to hear perspectives different from our own and thereby broaden the scope of our discussion.
What are our plans for the future?
Though the freshmen-on-campus (sometimes referred to simply as FOC) decision will now be implemented no sooner than the fall of 2002, we felt that we should maintain our ongoing discussion and planning efforts. We see the extra time as a good opportunity to experiment with some new programs and put some extra thought into implementation so as to reach an optimal result. We see this group as having two major tasks in the future.
First, we intend to work closely with the staff in charge of implementation. A group of staff members at the office of Residential Life and Student Life Programs, under the leadership of Associate Dean Kirk Kolenbrander, will have the duty of seeing that the Chancellor's design is carried out. Just as the student voice has played a major part in guiding the design of the system, we felt that the student voice should be heard as the design is implemented. We also feel, as experts in the residence system ourselves, that we will personally have much to offer in helping the staff carry out their task.
Secondly, we intend to continue working closely with other students to keep them informed of the progress of the development and to receive feedback. The community forums we have had so far worked excellently in letting students know where the redesign effort stood, and the feedback we received helped to shape much of our discussion. We hope to keep holding these forums and to keep making the group more receptive to different viewpoints from the student body.
Any residential life programs, to be successful, should have the backing of the students. Therefore, by working in these two capacities, we will strive to find student-driven and student-supported solutions which can be implemented by the students in cooperation with faculty, administration and staff.
What is this report?
As an end-of-term project, we have decided that we should digest all the discussion we have had so far, summarize all the decisions we have made, and compose a report on everything we have done this year. We are doing this for two reasons. First, we wanted to record what we have decided so that we have a starting point for our future work and a resource for when we need to revisit old discussions. Second, we wanted to produce a document which the entire MIT community could read and respond to, informing all of our progress and allowing all to respond to us with comments and suggestions. Any questions, comments or suggestions can be mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This report is by no means a final product, but rather a summary of conversations we have had so far. It addresses several topics, including an information technology project we've been working on, a model for residence selection in the dormitories, ideas about the new FSILG rush system, and thoughts on orientation, governance of the new system, and new ideas in residence-based programming. We will continue to discuss these topics in the future, as we will continue to discuss topics such as FSILG transition funding, theme houses in the new residence system, and whatever other topics are brought to our attention. Any suggestions for topics which we should discuss should be sent to us and would be more than welcome.
Contents List of Team Members