Community Feedback Session
Tuesday, September 14, 1999
7:00 - 9:00 PM, Burton-Conner
Hosted by DormCon
RSSC Members present: Jennifer Berk, Eli Hopson, Eric Liu, Paul Gray, Andy Eisenmann, and Erin Hester.
JUNIOR: Started with summary of RSSC report, especially Dorm Rush.
SENIOR: Issue of ILGs in dorms not being treated as such. Freshmen will be placed in them at random. Proposes Chocolate City & Language Houses be allowed to rush next term for current freshmen & allow sophomores to move in next year to replace graduating seniors. Notes the value of Chocolate Cityís programming as endorsed by Presidentís Committee on Campus Race Relations.
RESPONSE: Thinks itís a very appropriate suggestion and eminently sensible.
CONCERN: In terms of Chocolate City - can Chocolate City declare themselves as an upperclass dorm and house only sophomores, juniors and seniors?
SOPHOMORE: Could there be a mini-rush during Orientation for those interested? Students canít make the best decision without meeting people.
SENIOR: Dorm rush is not only for freshmen. Itís for upperclass & houses to help define who they are. Itís important to set aside time in dorm rush for houses to have rush and show who they are. Itís also important that information for freshmen is completely accurate and informative. It must be written by students and not really censored.
JUNIOR: Summer mailing choice means parents will be more involved in that choice.
SOPHOMORE: MIT is like the real world and making it more like Harvard is not good. Parents wonít be living here, students will. Can we have dorm rush during the first week of Orientation?
SOPHOMORE: Current residential selection has many benefits. Coming to MIT, the goal is to meet people & not just moving into a room. Most of the freshmen who are coming on campus will probably want to live on West Side of campus and this will force some people into east side who donít want to live there. Can we find other housing for them?
SOPHOMORE: There is life flowing through MIT now, and RSSC proposals without getting a chance to meet people will pull life out of campus just because of responding to concerns about MITís image.
RESPONSE: doesnít think that is what we are doing. Need to deal with boundary conditions of housing 1000 freshmen on campus with only 350 more beds.
SOPHOMORE: Freshmen going through residence selection together share even though they may end up living elsewhere.
CONCERN: Eliminating upperclass involvement & being able to talk to upperclass prior to freshman selection leads to bad choices. Chocolate City & Language Houses have HMs, GRTs & maximum supervision & maximum choice. What is the problem with Chocolate City & Language Houses choosing people that they want to live there?
CONCERN: Assumptions - current system encourages students to believe there is one right place to live, that catalyst for change was alcohol-related death in FSILG, etc. The IFC has large say in when rush should happen, so why did we give IFC system a lot of leeway if itís out of date, hard to change, etc.?
**(Side note - hard flushing happens for FSILGs)
CONCERN: Why not allow upperclass students to have freshmen live elsewhere where they will be happier?
RESPONSE: Want to have freshmen be able to make their choices.
CONCERN: If upperclass students have to live with freshmen they donít like, theyíll make them miserable for the whole year. Student acknowledged she would have tried to get roommate forced out if didnít want roommate there. There is no guarantee that minority students will find community in new system & would not recommend any minority students to come to MIT.
CONCERN: Hard for international students to get good understanding from just English words regarding what residences are like.
CONCERN: RSSC proposal allows for all upperclass students to be back for freshmen. Why did committee feel dorm rush was not compatible with our proposal?
RESPONSE: Committee had divergence of opinion on any topic, including this one, but overall sense was to support this proposal.
CONCERN: MIT should treat us like adults - adults get to choose who they live with. If we need people to move into FSILGs, allow dorm rush in fall, have a numerical lottery to select those who can stay in current residence hall & those who have to go off-campus.
SENIOR: Used to know & like all people in house, years ago, but now is very different - different interests, etc., that leads to conflict.
RESPONSE: Need to distinguish between freshmen choice and upperclass choice. Can also use internet, campus visits, etc. To get information.
CONCERN: Liked Phase II report idea of correction lottery. Why canít there still be one? MIT should say itís tough here, we treat students like adults, etc.... issue a statement like that. Weíre giving freshmen choice but not informed choice. Had a chance to meet students from all houses. This system weíre proposing babies people.
RESPONSE: Residence selection now forces people to meet other students. Other residential systems just allow move in & then start of classes without meeting people. Residence selection via internet is not available to all. Friends here are your support. Meeting students & choosing allows you to become who you are. Wouldnít want to live where she wasnít wanted.
SOPHOMORE: Schools with summer assignment generally have freshman houses. Our proposal will eliminate residential culture.
CONCERN: Parents who only see brochure may be surprised by the reality of a house & complain, take students out of MIT, etc... What will MIT do when parents complain?
CONCERN: If students like system now, why do we want to mess that up?
CONCERN: Chocolate City and Language Houses are unique & should have had a member on RSSC. Itís nice to be around people who are like you. Itís nice to be around people who speak similar language or have similar interests. Otherwise, youíre throwing college life at them and itís not fair. These houses provide essential service to community.
SOPHOMORE: Students value choice, FSILGís, guarantee of 4 years of housing, etc. How do RSSC members feel about decision to house frosh on campus?