The evaluation of Neighborhood Housing scheduled for next year will provide an excuse for numerous trips down memory lane. Who remembers Joe Schoer’s ’06 great notes on one of Professor Will Dudley’s presentations? I missed this part four years ago.

Will this affect admissions to the College?

No. {Dudley then draws a comparison with Yale}. We’re “not trying to imitate” other schools. Here’s some data that we need to improve: a greater percent of students say they decline admission because of Williams social life. A declining percent of graduating seniors say Williams has an excellent social life.

Needless to say, Professor Dudley refused to make the data underlying that remark available to the wider community. (Related topic rant here.) It is impossible for us to fairly evaluate the success (read: failure) of neighborhoods without access to the data.

I have no doubt that Dudley, an honest guy and fellow philosopher major 20 years ago, was telling the truth. Seniors in 2005 were less happy than seniors in 2000 because the College had screwed up housing with a serious of “improvements”: decreasing group size, ending WSO plans, enforcing gender caps, Office of Campus Life and so on. An honest look at the data would probably show that student satisfaction with social life reached a recent peak around 1999. That’s why administrators like Dudley won’t let the rest of us see the data.

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