Tom Holtey <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I hope for an environment in which CHOICE and DIVERSITY
combine to provide both rich OPTIONS for our community and BALANCE to foster
individual and group growth. The committed cooperation of students, alumni,
faculty and the administration must further work within the community to
assure that choice and freedom never again breeds destructive cultures.
To assist the committee in defining this future I am offering a selection of
questions which address values and the goals inherent in a residential redesign.
A List of Questions which should be addressed in
the Design of
a New Residence System for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
What is the relative value of Contacts:
Among Contemporary students,
Between students and recent alumni,
Between students and "older" alumni?
The value should be examined in "both directions."
How are the valued relationships enhanced by the living system?
What is the value of "balance" among academic and non-academic activities?
Are behavior patterns set for work and home activities?
Is time "away" from academic pursuits valuable to academic development?
What is the value of "community activities" outside the MIT community?
Is this time "away" from academic pursuits valuable to academic development?
Are these important to MIT's position in the community?
How can these activities be fostered or controlled?
What are the values and attitudes associated with student responsibility for
mutual well-being or housekeeping activities:
Opportunities for cost savings,
Is there value in the concept of a "sit down dinner"?
Under what circumstances?
How can a free time for this be facilitated?
What impact does this have on physical facilities?
Does this create a closed group? Is this desirable?
Is the management of food service a matter for the group?
Is there value in close freshman/upper-classmen bonding?
Is there value in the experience of "Defining your rules and living by them"?
What is the Purpose of any living group?
Does it differ among ILGs/Fraternities or Dormitories?
Room and Board?
What mechanisms are available to:
curtail destructive drinking behavior?
correct poor alcohol practices developed prior to college,
identify and correct pathological drinking patterns in living groups?
How do we measure "Community"?
What is the goal of more "Community":
Increased alumni financial support?
Knowing people at reunions?
Is the need to be in an environment of close association:
A weakness, or,
Does the ability to involve students in research activities depend primarily
The physical location of their housing?
Are "I hate this f*ing place" or "Tech is Hell" unifying concepts?
Does the community developed at the Sloan School provide a pattern for the
rest of MIT?
What is needed to create "real" student/faculty involvement?
Are these facilitated by:
Shared living situations?
Space planning within academic buildings?
Is there value in diversity and choice:
To be promoted?
To be subordinated to community?
To be deferred until the student's maturity is attained?
What are the major threats to MIT students' well-being:
Psychological damage from the MIT academic experience?
Psychological damage from the MIT social experience?
Alcohol or substance abuse?
Death by rooftop?
Sexual addiction or assault?
Does the Sorority system at MIT provide a pattern for Fraternities/ILGs in
Does the Harvard Yard system provide a pattern for a MIT residence system?
Is there evolutionary rationale for the shape of MITs current system?
Will increased freshman presence in dormitories affect their desirability
What are appropriate "release mechanisms" for MIT's academic intensity?
Is there a need or value in providing various living settings, eg:
40 person groups,
settings for solitude,
Are varied personalities served by this variety?
If so, does this preclude a shared, common experience?
What is the role of the graduate student in the system:
Does it vary between those who were MIT under-graduates v. elsewhere?
What powers are available to counter destructive behavior, eg, alcohol-related?
Alumni board sanctions?
Parental involvement or notification?
What factors in a living group serve to define or identify its culture:
Race, religion, national identification?
Is such a shared identity supportive? exclusive? restrictive?
Is there value in providing a variety of living group cultures?
When in the college experience is such a culture best entered?
How are the positive and negative aspects of such cultures identified and
Does involvement strengthen the academic experience?
Is "equal access" to housing situations important?
Is it best served by:
Has anything changed since the 1948 recommendation that MIT become a