Elizabeth Reed <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thank you for inviting participation from the MIT community. In the spirit of "The medium is the message", the process is the product. The final design for the residential system will be terrific thanks to the very inclusive process you are using.
I wish I had more time to respond to Question 2:
Identify the values you would like to see embedded in the new residential system; and for each value, identify indicators which tell us we are 'walking the talk.' To meet your deadline I am offering some preliminary ideas and hope to have the opportunity to add to them at a later point.
The new residential system should embody and/or engender:
1. Sense of pride and affiliation among students about their membership in the MIT community.
Indicator: there are individual, identifiable differances among the dorms and houses, and also common denominators among them, which their residents enjoy, celebrate, and express/manifest (wear as logos on t-shirts, etc.).
2. Equitability. All elements of the residential system should be equally as desireable and have their fair share of amenities, special programming, etc.
Indicator: There is a reasonably close level of student interest in living in all of them.
3. Sense of community through ample, appealing, communal, public spaces, with a balance of public, communal space and private space for reflection and solitude.
4. The richness of experience available at MIT.
There will be elements of each - or at least, some - of the following life-enhancing activities in every dorm: poetry, visual arts, music - and from artists of diverse backgrounds. And a variety of experiences which take place in the dorms, from poetry readings to career development workshops to study groups to erudite discussions of philosophical topics.
5. Inclusiveness and self expression in the creative process of making - i.e. designing and building-- the new residential system. It will incorporate student artwork, carpentry, murals, tilework, graffiti, poetry.