Chandra Webb <CWebb@genetics.com>
Identify the values you would like embedded in the new residential system. For each value, identify 2-3 indicators which would tell us we are "walking the talk."
Value #1: Personal Responsibility
Value #2: Respect
Value #3: Freedom of Association
The residential system is inherently a largely student community; very few faculty and staff are actually residents of the community (they are members of the larger MIT community as commuters, but not residents). Thus, I presume that the "students" of the "educational elements of the residential system" are in fact the students of MIT who are participating in the residential system by living there. What should they be educated about? What is the purpose of the educational elements? Is it to teach about all aspects of life outside of academics? Is it to teach about life while at MIT or after MIT or both? It seems to me then, if I may be so presumptuous, that in addition to staff and faculty, it is the alumni who should be asked what was missing and what worked and what they wished they had been educated about when they were participating in the residential system that would have better prepared them for life both at and after MIT. Staff and faculty may offer perspective based on experience, but it is the students who must craft the system. Implementation and assessment should include both students and staff, and faculty who choose to make an investment in the "project", if nothing but simply for administrative reasons. The students clearly have a vested interest in the system; where and how one lives is basic. Perhaps urban studies class credit is an appropriate reward, or perhaps it is simply a responsibility as a member of the community to participate in the process of creating it. What reward will most faculty realize from their participation? And "ditto" for staff, unless it is specifically their job to participate? Unless it is monetary, I don't know that it would be motivating enough to get quality participation, aside from the exceptional few. Commuters are commuters frequently because they don't want to be participants in the residential community. To change that is beyond the scope of this.
Hopefully this was helpful. Happy New Year!