V. Michael Bove Jr. <email@example.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."
It may not be as politically correct to say this as in past years, but I think we do our undergraduates no favor if we create a residential system that is too protective and controlled. The effect of such a system would be to postpone certain inevitable personal crises until students have graduated, are working their first jobs, and are living in an environment which won't be as supportive or understanding. Rather than assuming that the Institute can through regulations or organized programs completely prevent certain forms of unfortunate behavior (sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, irresponsible use of alcohol, incivility, et al.) let's instead consider how we can foster the emergence of multiple levels of community that will first convey what reasonable living is, and second will help out -- in a supportive rather than condemnatory way -- when students exceed the limits anyway. Foremost would be at the level of the students' immediate neighbors -- whose influence will count far more than housemasters or advisors or official programs. Basically, the Institute doesn't have to be a substitute parent if it can create a whole lot of sets of substitute brothers and sisters. Student activities can help out at this level as well. Then we have to work out higher-level ways of reaching those students whose problems can't be handled at the the immediate community level. Housemasters, advisors, and instructors/TAs with regular contact with the students would be the ones to provide encouragement to seek other resources.