I had hoped to take a break from anchor housing blogging, but there is just so much good discussion at WSO that not-linking is impossible.

My favorite new factoid is that only 4% of William students are “dissatisfied” with residential life. Is there another elite college that has fewer dissatisfied students than Williams? Not that I know of. I lived in a Harvard undergraduate house — under a form of anchor housing quaranteed to make CUL swoon with delight — for four years. Much more than 4% of my students were dissatisfied with residential life.

I think that a big reason for the discrepancy is the existence at Williams of the Odd Quad, of a location (with its own dining hall) at which a self-selected group of students who see themselves (correctly or not) as different from the mainstream can create their own community. Odd Quaders at other schools, with no such location, are much more likely to be dissatisfied.

This is one of the key points of the current system. Although there are definitely students that would be happier with anchor housing (my guess is that they would be the more popular, out-going, mainstream students), many other students will be worse off.

If the CUL is intellectually honest, they will provide a thorough discussion of this point in their report. It is reasonable to conclude (although I disagree) that the typical student will be better off with anchor housing. It is reasonable to conclude that anchor housing, on balance, is a good idea. It is simply not true that no one loses with the change. The CUL needs to recognize this and discuss it openly.

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