Oh, Ephraim, save us from CUL! Here are the official cluster name choices:

A) Berkshire (Currier) / Taconic (Dodd) / Hoosac (Spencer) / Stone Hill (Wood)

B) Aristotle (Currier) / Virgil (Dodd) / Aquinas (Spencer) / Dante (Wood)

C) Raphael (Currier) / Michelangelo (Dodd) / Leonardo (Spencer) /Donatello (Wood)

D) Harrison (Currier) / McCartney (Dodd) / Lennon (Spencer) / Starr (Wood)

E) Pyro (Currier) / Terra (Dodd) / Aqua (Spencer) / Aero (Wood)

F) Currier (Currier) / Dodd (Dodd) / Spencer (Spencer) / Wood (Wood)

Please vote for F, or at least A. All the others (with the possible exception of C) are too stupid to merit consideration. Previous discussion here.


0) Kudos to CUL for, it seems, organizing the vote as a series of slates and for including the current names as an option. EphBlog would claim credit for this, except that many observers made the same suggestions.

1) Is this information public? I realize that it has been sent to students, but there are plenty of alumni and faculty who might chime in with useful comments. Again, I realize that the folks on CUL are doing their very bestest, but it would have been better to distribute some sort of draft list sometime prior to the day of the election. (I guess that I should have made this suggestion earlier.) There is certainly no reason now for keeping it secret.

2) What is the rational behind these names? A competent committee would both provide the names and background information on where the names come from and why they make sense. Perhaps there is some good reason why McCartney is Dodd and Lennon is Spencer rather than vice versa, but I doubt it. Naming schemes without rationals are stupid. At least with Hogwarts we made an extensive effort to tie the names to actual Williams history.

3) Speaking of which, why is there not a Hogwarts option? I could understand a generic refusal for having pop culture names and/or names with no Williams connection but, having included the Beatles, there is no reason to exclude Harry Potter. Is there any doubt that, if they were forced to choose between just the Beatles and Harry Potter, most students would choose the latter? Call me paranoid but I do not think that EphBlog’s efforts on behalf of a Hogwarts scheme helped it get a place on the ballot.

4) Choice C) is (vaguely) clever in that most people will just see it as famous artists while pop culture aficionados will recognize the names of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Julie Esteves originated this scheme in the WSO Discussion.

Who will win? Tough question! What are the rules? If there is just one vote, I expect that choice F will (thankfully) win easily. The vote-for-goofy-names crowd will be split among the several goofy options. If instead the rules involve and Olympic-city-choosing-style of several rounds with the lowest vote getter eliminated each time, there is a chance that the last two might be, say, C and F. All the students who, in previous rounds, preferred B, D and E might then vote for C rather than F.

My money is on F (most students are sensible and will realize that goofiness grows old after a while) or A. It would have been nice to see some reasoning about why certain mountains were chosen for certain clusters. Perhaps location? Is Dodd (Tyler?) closest to the Taconic range? Greylock would have been a better choice than Stone Hill.

Good luck to all!

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