Well, if you say so then you certainly were here and I was not. That said, your version of events directly contradicts the version remembered by then-director of student housing Charles Jankey, then-Associate Dean Cris Roosenraad, and the 1980 Record editorial board:

By the late ’70s, more and more students were opting to transfer out of their houses, and were able to submit preferences for a new assignment. In a special issue titled “Housing at Williams” on March 14, 1980, the Record reported that 220 students applied for house transfers, “demonstrating the increasing desire among the student body to experience different living arrangements while at Williams.”

This was a substantial increase over the handful of students who requested transfers a decade earlier.

According to Charles Jankey, then-director of student housing, the transfer rules (adopted in 1976) stipulated that at the end of sophomore year, a student who wanted to move houses could submit a request, along with up to three others, listing in order of preference 15 of the 16 houses. The only guarantee was that a student would not get assigned to the house left out of the request. The Dean’s office and House Presidents then processed these requests and allocated the available rooms in the houses.

These increases in both the pervasiveness and acceptability of transferring spoke to a weakness in the system. As Cris Roosenraad, then associate dean, said in the special edition of the Record, “It’s awful, [the number of transfers] is way too high, and the system’s breaking down somewhere.”

By 1980, with the house system very much in place, increasing transfers had begun to shift the housing focus from house to class. A 1980 issue of the Record stated “the exodus of students – predominately sophomores – from Mission Park and the Berkshire Quad lends credence to the ‘typical’ housing scenario: sophomore year Mission Park or Berkshire Quad; junior-senior years: Greylock or Row Houses.”

It certainly doesn’t seem like house affinity existed in the same way in the 1980s that it did in the late-60s and 1970s. Regardless, I would hold that the system that existed in the 1970s, they system you lived under, and the system I propose — regardless of any minor differences that existed is better than the current system where Carter becomes the swim team house by default.

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