All students must address freshmen housing changes
Following the release of the Report of the Freshmen Housing Committee on Nov. 9, there has been considerable debate within both the faculty and the student body surrounding the main recommendation of housing all freshmen on campus in preassigned Institute dormitories. At the Nov. 15 faculty meeting and at Tuesday's open forum, there was an overwhelmingly negative response to this recommendation. I personally think the committee did a fine job in detailing what the goals of the housing system should be as well as outlining some of the major problems of the current housing system. However, I concur with the bulk of the community who have spoken out already in that there are better, more efficient ways of tackling these and other valid concerns by attacking them directly.
Often, in the last three weeks, critics have suggested a variety of ways to more effectively correct the flaws of the current system. There is a working group, set up by students and chaired by Stacy A. Segal '90, which is being formed to look for alternative ways of dealing with the problems more effectively by addressing them individually, thereby giving each the full attention it requires. This group is hoping to include a significant number of faculty and administrators -- including members of the FHC if they so desire -- as well as students. The purpose of this group is not to look at the entire freshmen housing situation again from an unbiased perspective; rather, it is to come up with the best ways of solving the current problems so that they may be compared to the FHC main proposal and we, the entire MIT community, can decide upon the optimal course of action.
It is important to keep in mind that this is not a battle between the FHC and its critics; on the contrary, we are all on the same team. The entire MIT community shares one common goal: to improve, as much as possible, the housing system in which undergraduates spend four years. The ideas which this working group will create are by no means meant to undermine the work of the FHC, but simply to present other options so that we all can make a wiser, more informed decision, regardless of what decision that may be. With this in mind, I suggest that everyone, even those in favor of housing freshmen on campus, share his/her own opinion on how to directly deal with the current problems. Adding one's input to this working group does not mean supporting its conclusions over the proposal of the FHC, it means supporting the goal of a better housing system through a larger selection of ideas and greater awareness.
I congratulate Professor Mary C. Potter and the rest of the Freshmen Housing Committee for doing a fine job in starting the process towards a better undergraduate housing plan. Now is the time for the rest of us in the community to help take the next few steps.
Paul Antico '91->