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Vest Releases Plans for Residence/Orientation

President Charles M. Vest is submitting the following proposal to Academic Council today, outlining the format of Residence and Campus Orientation from next year through the year 2001.

Academic Year 1997-98

Three major tasks must be accomplished during the remainder of the current academic year:

Planning for Orientation and housing changes to be implemented for fall 1998;

The establishment of long-term principles and/or goals for the entire residential system; and

The initiation of planning for a new campus residence hall.

Fall 1998

Substantial changes in both orientation and the residential system should be in place for students enrolling in the Class of 2002. These should include, but not be limited to the following:

The process of orienting new students to MIT, before, during and after Orientation Week, will be substantially redesigned consistent with Section 2 of the sense of the faculty motion adopted on November 19, 1997; it will include improved introduction to MIT's academic environment, development of a sense of belonging to the larger MIT community, and greater opportunity for interaction with faculty and with other students.

Freshmen will not be required to live in dormitories, but all who wish to do so will be accommodated.

The process of residence selection will be better informed and less frenetic, with selection procedures as uniform as possible across all living groups.

Information about campus life and about all residences will be provided by MIT to incoming students and their parents and will be further improved, made more consistent in format, and will include clear, concise facts and figures.

Every MIT-approved residence will have an active faculty adviser (in the case of [Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living Groups]) or house master (in the case of dormitories).

Every MIT-approved residence will have a resident adviser to provide support to the living group and linkages to campus activities and services. FSILG students will be involved in designing this system, and each living group will have an active role in hiring and defining the role of its resident adviser.

Years 1998-99 through 2000-01

During these three years MIT will work to continuously improve the entire residential system, and in orientation and residence selection. The Academic Council will maintain active oversight and review of planning and outcomes.

Implementation will largely be carried out by the Office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education. Success in meeting our established goals will be monitored annually using the agreed-upon criteria. Student recommendations and feedback regarding their experience will be an essential part of this evaluation. Periodic reports will be made to the Faculty Policy Committee, to the faculty, and to the community at large.

Year 2000-01

By the end of the 2000-01 academic year, the Academic Council, guided by evaluation of accomplishments during the preceding three years (using the established criteria and broad consultation), will determine whether our goals for the residence system and for orientation have been met, so that freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors in all dormitories and FSILGs have a supportive living situation, well integrated into MIT's learning environment.

The new dormitory, which will have been designed with enough flexibility to accommodate a range of options, should be available for the following year. Its specific use will be determined at that time in the context of our goals for quality of student life and MIT's educational mission, and the opportunities that may arise in the course of what we learn over the next three years.

These opportunities may include simply improving the overall amount and quality of living space, providing more single-sex housing for women, or housing more or all freshmen on campus, among others.

Source:President Charles M. Vest