A previous version of this article neglected to note that Phoebe J. Whitwell '15 is from East Campus.
At last night’s MIT Dormitory Council (DormCon) election meeting, McCormick Hall President Chloe A. Orphanides ’15 was elected DormCon president, and MacGregor House president Walter Menendez ’15 was elected DormCon vice president. They will be replacing outgoing president Eli H. Ross ’14 and vice president Katherine J. Silvestre ’14.
The other officers-elect included: treasurer Caitlin A. Heber ’16 (Simmons), risk management chair Allan E. Sadun ’17 (East Campus), secretary Jasmeet K. Arora ’17 (Senior House), Judicial Committee chair Gaurav J. Singh ’15 (Random Hall), dining chairs Cosmos Darwin ’15 (Simmons) and Antonio Moreno ’15 (Next), and housing chairs Phoebe J. Whitwell ’15 (East Campus) and Matthew J. Davis ’16 (New House), who had originally been on the ballot for the president position.
As DormCon president and vice president, Orphanides and Menendez said one of their main goals is to focus on working with the administration. During the candidacy speeches, certain topics like the closing and demolition of Bexley (a recurring topic through the night) and security changes came up as examples of breakdowns in communication between students and the administration. Menendez called it an “issue of persistence.”
“Once we start the conversation, we need to actually push action forward,” said Menendez in reference to, among other issues, DormCon’s actions following the closing of Bexley. “We do this political show of solidarity, but we don’t actually do anything past that… We just provide a statement that ‘we’re not okay with this.’” Menendez said that if he had been DormCon president during the closing of Bexley, he would have pushed for action on one of the biggest problems he perceived — helping Bexley students get their housing in order.
One of Orphanides’ platform stances was to publicize DormCon and its roles in the MIT community to more students, in an effort to broaden avenues of communication between DormCon and the student body. “It’s funny how the average MIT student has no idea what Dormcon is or does,” said Menendez.
Orphanides said her plan is to talk to students at orientation about DormCon and let them know how DormCon can support the student body. The two also hope to increase the community atmosphere around MIT by holding both campus-wide events, like the recent CPW picnic, and build upon the success of existing inter-dormitory events like the McCormick-Next formal.
“In this room, we all know each other. That’s great. But do people in a dorm on west campus know people in a dorm in east campus?” said Orphanides during her candidacy speech. “That’s what DormCon represents. All of us together.”