Why would the College align entries with neighborhoods in such a random fashion?

This is stupid. Although, in theory, assigning first years from Sage into all four neighborhoods does provide some cross-cutting cleavages across the campus, there is a large cost to within-neighborhood unity. The central problem with the neighborhood system is, and always will be, that the architectural structure of the College and traditional movements of the students (juniors as JAs and abroard; seniors in co-ops and off-campus) prevent meaningful neighborhood identity. No one cares about the Currier Neighborhood qua neighborhood.

Now, you might have some hope of fighting this trend if you started the indoctrination process early. If every student in Mills were associated with the Currier cluster, then the first years might develop a sense of cluster identity before sophomore year. They might make an effort to learn the names of all their peers in Mills because they knew that all these Ephs would be their neighbors for another 3 years. But, a typical student in Mills 3 will find it impossible to remember or to care if students in Williams C (or is it Williams B?) are associated with Currier.

As always, I am no fan of the neighborhood system, but any reasonable attempt to make it work would involve mapping first year houses directly to neighborhoods. Given that cross-entry relationships are less strong in the freshmen quad than in Mission houses (true?), I would think that each of the four Mission houses should be associated with one of the neighborhoods. The entries in Sage and Williams could then be grouped by proximity and divided up according to population needs (since neighborhoods vary in population size).

Facebooktwitter
Print  •  Email