Jonathan Landsman ’05 (the Will Slack ’11 of his generation) writes:

I’ve read about Dodd’s success this year and I think it’s great. Astounding, actually, and you can’t take anything away from the leaders this year. May I guess, though, that many of them were socially bound before this year? In other words, that for whatever reason a group of friends is largely running the house? There is nothing wrong with that! But if so, the success is ephemeral . . . we do have to see if the culture there sustains, or if it turns over depending on who is “elected” and how much those people feel like it’s worth investing in the neighborhood versus basically giving up. When you are socially programming with and for friends, it is different—we saw the same pockets of success in the old House Coordinator system, especially in the Odd Quad and other houses where a house was full of residents who knew each other and the HC personally before the year began. It didn’t mean that house was “building community” that would last past that one year.

Exactly correct.

1) Is Jonathan correct about Dodd? Another explanation is that Dodd just got very lucky with its first leaders and that this led to a culture of success in programming.

2) Assuming Jonathan is correct, we want to ensure that people with a desire to throw parties have the means to do so. Best way to do that is to fill the each row house with a self-selected group of seniors who are friends with each other. Make sure to place the biggest parties in the houses that make party throwing easiest. Initial thoughts here. And, yes, a new draft of my Vision for Williams Housing in the works. Harness your eagerness.

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