Anna Merritt asks:

I remember last year someone set up a wiki page where people could put their group numbers and where they were thinking of going… that takes all the fun out of it, though.

That “someone” was me. Although most of what I add to campus is, uh, discussion, it is great fun to make a small but real contribution which makes life just a little better for current Ephs. Anyway, it is good to see the tradition live on. Comments:

1) How many applicants are there this year for 109 spots? I can’t tell. As always, the College needs more co-op space. Co-ops are one of the best parts of the Williams housing. Expand them by, for example, bringing (back?) Parsons, Hubbell and Sewall. Yes, I realize that this would make the Dodd Neighborhood “too small,” but given that there is now (nor will there ever be) meaningful amounts of intra-neighborhood competition, it does not matter if Dodd is much smaller than the other neighborhoods.

2) Note (as usual?) the large groupings, often team-based (12 crew guys; 9 swimmers). Although the College is reasonable to insist on mixing people thoroughly — Can’t let all those damn swimmers live together! — before senior year, it should encourage seniors to live together and bond with their closest buddies, forging friendships that will last a lifetime. The more invested people are with their Williams friends, the more time/effort/money they will give to the College in the years to come. Harnessing this healthy force is a main part of my master plan.

3) Is there some way to combine demand for co-ops with greater power to the students to improve the Williams social scene? Perhaps! Co-ops have the desirable property that they are often (?) great places to throw parties (although someone with more knowledge can provide details) and house seniors with an interest in throwing parties (and legal means of getting alcohol). Wouldn’t the campus scene by more fun if “partiers” were given preference in co-op choices, at least for those co-ops which are good for throwing parties? Basic idea is that the College wants, say, Milham (is that a good example?) to have 9 male swimmer buddies who will throw a party every Saturday night. Everyone is better off.

Now, this is not an easy thing to arrange. How do such groups demonstrate that they would throw parties? How can we discriminate against quiet students? And so on. But, conceptually, this is not dissimilar to the JA selection process. We let students choose who gets to be JAs. Why not have a student committee choose which groups (each of which makes an application to a specific house or houses) gets assigned to the party co-ops? Sounds like a great project for Campus Life.

4) This Willipedia page will generate more hits and edits over the next few weeks than the entire project has in the last couple months. What other services could Willipedia provide in a similar fashion?

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