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Response To FSILG Report Positive

By Beckett W. Sterner


The Fraternity, Sorority and Independent Living Group task force report has received about 20 predominantly positive comments from alumni and students, said Director of FSILG Alumni Relations Robert V. Ferrara ’67.

We’ve received “lots of positive feedback” about the report, said Stephen D. Immerman, senior associate dean for Student Life, although “I wouldn’t call it extensive.”

He said the report seemed to be helping improve relations with MIT alumni, based on the “amount of traction we’ve gotten in informal conversation” about the report.

The respondents seem “pleased that MIT really is paying attention to this,” Ferrara said. He said that most of the comments came from alumni, but about three or four were from undergraduates.

Ferrara said that he will continue to collect input on the report until the end of October, at which point members of the task force will meet to review the feedback.

Some steps under way

Immerman said that the committee in charge of the Financial Transition Plan has begun considering ideas for how to implement the report’s suggestion to extend MIT’s financial aid to FSILGs.

Ferrara said that the committee was considering the question of “how do you ensure there are adequate financial resources for houses.” One conclusion in the task force’s report was that the losses FSILGs took in 2002 alone exceeded the total funding MIT had allocated over three years to the transition plan. The report’s study of FSILG finances included several possible new extended financing proposals ranging from 2.4 to 10.7 million dollars over six years.

Immerman also said that Facilities had begun a feasibility study for a capital plan to build new housing on campus for several FSILGs, an idea which could help the FSILGs avoid prohibitively expensive renovations needed for their houses. He said that about a half dozen FSILGs have continued to indicate interest in the proposal, including some currently without houses.

Ferrara said in addition that MIT plans to continue the Treasurer 101 subject this year that was offered for FSILG treasurers last Independent Activities Period. He said House Manager 101 would be an option as well.

Alumni response high

A session on the FSILG report at the Alumni Leadership Conference two weeks ago did very well, Immerman said, and received a high turnout of 50 to 60 people.

Ferrara said that “I think everybody’s ready to move on” from the controversy of President Charles M. Vest’s decision to require all freshmen to live on campus in 1998.

He said that MIT is looking to increase the involvement of local alumni with the FSILG system as well as alumni in New York, who form the next largest concentration of MIT graduates.