RESIDENCE HALL PROGRAMMING
SUMMARY OF RESPONSES TO HOUSEMASTER QUERY
Draft July 13, 1998
The following summary of programming in the residence halls is based upon an e-mail survey to Housemasters conducted in June 1998 by the MIT Planning Office. This information was augmented by additional programming data included in the "5-year plans" prepared by each of the houses.
Below is a bulleted summary of the findings of this research. Linked to this is document are several matrices providing specific programming information on each of the undergraduate residences. Unfortunately, information was not available about programs and activities in each of the residences.
Comment on Successful Programming Activities
- Wide variety of successful programming. Differs by residence.
- Small dinners (~20 students) with alumni, faculty, and administrators to talk about careers extremely well received, but difficult to sustain given existing resources.
- Housemasters have had good experiences inviting guest speakers, from the wider MIT community and the outside world, to meet with students over meals and at study breaks. Students welcome opportunities to interact with interesting adults in their residence and are genuinely appreciative of the support/attention.
- "Anything involving food and light social interaction works."
- The Housemaster and the Tutors must take the initiative to carry out (what one HM referred to as "meaty") programming of social, cultural, or intellectual content.
Comments on Shortcomings to Existing Residence Hall Programming
- Limited participation of non-resident faculty and alumni in current programming; however, the outcomes are generally very positive.
- Limited participation of other Institute offices, such as the Medical Department, Counseling and Support Services, International Students Office, Career Services and Preprofessional Advising, and Academic Services Office. Again, Housemasters and students have generally been very positive about the experiences.
- Need for more sharing of programming ideas among residences. Loss of institutional memory as Housemasters turn over. Need for central repository/documentation.
- Need for increased house forums; should not only gather in times of crisis
- Need more activities to promote spontaneous socialization; more mixing of residents so you donít have television-based socialization.
- Need for better role definition (Housemaster, students, GRT, Fellows, House Manager, Deanís Office). Housemasters need to be vested with authority to make decisions regarding use of house spaces, programming, etc.
- Need for more communication between Housemasters and student governance
- Broad support for communal dining in new facility. With common dining, could expand programming significantly (ideas: "department tables" at dinner to help frosh and sophomores select majors; similar events for juniors and seniors to assist in graduate school application process.)
- Studentsí hours of availability not always convenient for faculty / student interaction. Events tend to take place on the late side (i.e. after 10 PM)
- Need for both small group events (student / faculty dinners, workshops) and house-wide events to promote sense of community and affiliation on different scales.
- "Find a way to have daily, but not less than weekly, common experiences be part of the studentsí lives."
- Provide academic tutoring in the house
- Need for more Frosh programming
Comments on Resources
- Need for increase funding for programming
- Need for additional administrative support to Housemaster and GRTs
- Need for additional support/guidance from the Deanís Office. For instance, HMís recommend the assignment of a counseling person from the Deanís office to each residence.
- Lower GRT/student ratio from 1:50 to 1:30; support ratio across residential system.
Comments on Physical Spaces
- Desired spaces:
- common dining
- music room
- small performance space
- Athena cluster
- reading/study space
- recreation room
- fitness room
- secure storage
- secure bike storage
- conference room
- "We suffer from the lack of a place where our entire dorm can meet."
- "Large enough floor lounges to permit social activities and meeting place."
- Security a major concern
Click here for the Residence Programming Matrices.