As much as I want to congratulate Noah Smith-Drelich ’07 for the time he has taken to be CUL’s ambassador on the WSO blogs, sometimes he just goes too far.

Each cluster will be able to dine wherever they choose, but geographically, it looks like the Tyler cluster will primarily dine in Mission, the Dodd cluster will primarily dine in Dodd and Mission, the Currier cluster will primarily dine in Driscoll, the Wood cluster will primarily dine in Greylock, and the Spencer cluster will primarily dine in Baxter and Greylock. Chances are when clusters have special dinner events, they’ll have them at the geographically closest dining hall.

As I said, there will be no formal associations for dining halls. What I described was merely where people from each cluster would be likely to choose to dine.

I will gladly wager a decent amount that this will, in fact, not happen. The whole idea that students in Mills (the vast majority of whom will be sophomores) will troop over to Dodd for dinner just because they are part of the “Dodd Cluster” is a fantasy. Why would they do this? As sophomores, they won’t know many people in Dodd and they will know many other students from the other Mission houses that are, you know, eating in the Mission dining hall.

Williams has a very specific housing infrastructure. Although CUL may be able to make changes on the margin (suggesting renovations in Mission, for example), they do not have the power to undertake major construction projects.

There is nothing that CUL can possibly do that will significantly alter the dining halls that students will frequent. This has always been 90% driven by geographical proximity (either to the student’s house or to her other location — class room or sports practice, say — around meal times) and always will be. If the CUL isn’t smart enough to understand this, then I wonder what sort of other completely unreasonable assumptions are built into the entire proposal.

Can Noah provide an example of a single college anywhere at which students in a dorm like Mills with an attached dining area go and eat their meals somewhere else? I doubt it.

As always, the problem with anchor housing is not its goals. The problem is that there is no good reason to believe many of the empirical claims that its proponents are making. Does anyone believe that a majority of Mills residents will go to Dodd to eat?

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