A great advantage of this blog (I hope!) is that it allows Ephs from different eras to compare notes on their experiences at Williams. In this case, Mike Needham’s proposal would almost completely replicate the housing situation at Williams from 1984 — 1988 and, I am pretty sure, the 5 or 10 years before and after.

Fortunately, I am not the only one who remembers this time period. Faculty members Katie Kent ’88, Will Dudley ’89 and Tom Smith ’88 could provide commentary as well. In any event, Mike is misinformed when he writes that:

by 1980 a change made in 1976 that allowed students to request a housing transfer had more or less created the situation that we have today.

Throughout the 80’s transfers were difficult for individuals and almost unheard of for entire rooming groups. The situation then was very different from Williams now. The “typical” student lived in the same housing area for three years. Whether the campus community then had greater breadth, depth and variety then it does now (and how/whether those differences are related to the housing process) is the question before us.

One nice aspect of Mike’s proposal is that, because Williams has tried it before, we can be a lot more confident of its likely effects than we could be if it were something brand new.

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