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Students Must Take Opportunity to Affect Housing Policy

Students Must Take Opportunity to Affect Housing Policy

I am writing to encourage any student who is interested in graduate housing to come to an important meeting Tuesday night.

For several months, there was a significant campus dialogue and much uproar as various members of the Institute community expressed concern that the Strategic Housing Planning Committee was being used as a de facto housing policy-making body. Furthermore, there was much anxiety with the recommendations of the committee. Thankfully, as a result of this dialogue, the administration amended the process in order to allow for significant, perhaps unprecedented, student input into the long range future of MIT housing.

In short, the administration has given students what they wanted - an opportunity to participate. But with it, students have been given a responsibility to accept that offer. Now that the crisis is over and some of the most troublesome recommendations appear dead, at least in the short term, it is tempting to walk away from the issue. That is exactly the wrong approach - one that will lead, once again, to sub-optimal recommendations and a future disinclination on the part of the administration toward allowing student input on major decisions.

On Tuesday night, the first steps will be taken in what promises to be a long, yet rich and fascinating journey of determining the long-term policy for graduate housing. Issues will include the long term use of Ashdown House and the construction of a new graduate housing facility. I implore any student who is interested in these and other graduate housing issues to come play a part in the process. The meeting will be from 78:30 p.m. in the Graduate Student Council office in Walker Memorial (50-222) and will be led by Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs Arthur C. Smith.

Joseph J. Bambenek G

Co-chair, GSC Housing and Community