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Anchor Thoughts

Perhaps someone can provide an update on what happened at the anchor housing forum tonight? One of the downsides of the new WSO site design (beside my inability to login) is that there seems to be much less discussion than there was, say, last Winter Study. I miss the blogs quite a bit. (I realize that they are there, but no one seems to be writing to them.) Anyway, here are some thoughts.

0) I just love the way that Roseman sprung this idea on CUL, perhaps even on Dudley, with no warning whatsoever. Take a look at their meeting notes for early December. (Kudos to them for making the notes available.) They had no idea that this was coming!

1) It will be interesting to see if this meeting leads to a revival of Anchors Away. Surely, there are some engaged and upset First Years willing to lead the charge. If so, they should start reading here. Although Will Dudley likes to claim that we will not “revisit” the major decisions that have alreay been made, Roseman’s willingness to totally restructure First Year housing demonstrates that she, at least, is ready to reconsider most anything.

2) Independent of anchor housing, it seems like the concentration of First Year housing in the Freshmen Quad and Mission Park is an excellent idea. Although Lehman and Morgan have, traditionally, worked well, the first years in East and Fayerweather have always gotten the short end of the stick. Centralizing all the first years in two locations, and making Mission the default dining hall for all of them, can only lead to more interactions within the class, and, as the Davis Conjecture demonstrates, more interactions within a class leads to a better Williams.

3) Four clusters, eh? Recall that, at the start this fun-filled exercise, the CUL was looking at 6 clusters. Then it was five. Now it is four. In a sense, 4 is the least bad answer. But this is further evidence, as if any were needed, that Williams currently lacks the sort of housing stock that makes any sort of Yale-type housing plan sensible.

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#1 Comment By Diana On January 11, 2006 @ 1:07 am

Dean Roseman was there, answering questions. There were pictures of the five-cluster and four-cluster models, color-coded, the same as on the web site, projected on the walls. People asked questions. There was not as much vehement opposition as in the past, but at least there were freshmen in attendance, who asked questions and were interested. People were mostly interested in issues of equity between clusters, and how that would make everything play out with the draw and such, now and into the future.

Anchors away? The anchors have gone away; it’s the neighborhoods that are a problem now.

Thanks for once again citing the Davis Conjecture. I am almost famous.

#2 Comment By Nishant On January 11, 2006 @ 3:55 am

I was a JA in Fay 1 and a first year in Fay 2. Maybe my experience was unique but I always thought those entries worked well. Only downside in my mind was the lack of common spaces, though the silver lining on that cloud was the fact that there weren’t as many cliques in the entry.

#3 Comment By frank uible On January 11, 2006 @ 6:05 am

How transformative of Williams students’ non-Williams experiences can one expect any Williams housing scheme to be?