I didn’t see this one coming . . .

today Will Dudley emailed the CUL, forwarding an idea from Dean Rosemen concerning the proposed cluster housing. this is a paraphrase of his email, i didn’t leave anything out.

out of concern for not enough student leaders and ‘liasons’ in the each cluster, and some dissatisfaction with the Tyler renovations, she is considering having 4 clusters instead of 5.

She values the geographic unity of clusters and therefore is considering rearanging first year entries to be located in the frosh quad, like now, and in mission park, with Morgan becoming part of the easter row-house cluster (plus 2 from greylock), the berkshire quad’s 5 buildings becoming a cluster and lehman being joined to the dodd cluster (which will also contain tyler/thompson).

this idea is brand new to the CUL, as of today. there are several positives and negatives to this idea. the freshmen class would be much more unified, the clusters would be more geographic and larger. the tyler cluster’s housing options would also be much improved. negatives include, most notably the undesirability of current first year dorms fay, east and lehmen for upperclassmen (morgan will be renovated this summer) and the last-minute nature of the idea.

it is unclear how much say the CUL has in this new idea, since it is coming from Dean Roseman. the CUL is obviously not meeting until january, but i’m sure this topic will be on our minds (maybe more than we’d like) until then, so feedback is of course welcome – that’s what the blogs are for.

And feedback does indeed ensue.

On a personal note, my fellow social engineers (that would be you, Rob Chase) and I talked/plotted the possibility of having Mission filled with freshmen. Then (as now?) there was a real bifurcation of the class between the freshmen quad/Morgan/Berkshire. Everyone recognized that the East/Fayerweather folks got the short end of the stick. Moreover, the class stayed disjoint ever afterwards because of affiliation housing. Living in Greylock for three years, there were many classmates who lived in Mission that I almost never interacted with.

But that’s all boring ancient history. I am shocked that Dean Roseman would drop this bombshell on the CUL (and now on the campus) on December 15! There is nowhere near enough time (?) to even begin to evaluate this radical change in the proposal. Isn’t the co-op draw less than 2 months away? If I were in Williamstown, I would be buying Will Dudley a beer right about now . . .

This does reinforce my notion that Dean Roseman is a social engineer par excellence. She really does think that she, and she alone, knows best. The College has gone through a year’s worth of trouble and process. Just imagine how many meetings Dudley has attended, how many e-mails he has written. And now, at this late date, Roseman has a brand new idea! She couldn’t maybe have mentioned this to Dudley last spring . . . I am sure that he would have appreciated the heads up!

But, as a longtime proponent of free-agency, this represents one last chance to save the current system. Demand another year of study! Revive anchors away!

First years should be sure to read all about this never-ending debate in our handy summary post.

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